NBA athletes are generally financially well-off individuals. Sometimes, people may try and take advantage of that. We've seen athletes fall victim to fraud in the past, as they are targeted by people who want to acquire their money/assets.
One of those athletes was Richard Jefferson. An article on ESPN from 2017 reported that a former business manager for Richard Jefferson was accused of "defrauding" him for "$7 million during his NBA career".
A former business manager for Richard Jefferson has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland Cavaliers forward of $7 million during his NBA career.
According to a June 14 indictment in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Arizona, which was obtained by the Arizona Daily Star, Theodore Kritza has been charged with 22 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Kritza allegedly forged Jefferson's signature in 2005 to take power of attorney over the NBA player. According to the Daily Star, Jefferson did not learn of this until 2012.
The ex-manager is accused of fraudulently taking $6.99 million from Jefferson between 2004 and 2013.
While it is an unfortunate occurrence, it seems as though Theodore Kritza will end up facing major consequences. A press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the District of Arizona revealed that Kritza will have to face 70 months in prison, and will have to pay almost $5 million "in restitution" to Richard Jefferson. That is less than the amount he was accused of stealing but is a good development nonetheless.
Theodore Itsvan Joseph Kritza, 46, of Superior, Colorado (formerly of Chandler, Arizona), was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson to 70 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Kritza was also ordered to pay $4,794,874 in restitution to the victim. Kritza previously pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud.
In April 2005, the victim, an NBA player, hired Kritza to serve as his personal assistant, taking care of his day-to-day tasks, including paying his bills. Between 2005 and 2012, Kritza fraudulently obtained funds by forging the victim’s signature on more than two dozen documents, including business loans, credit line applications, and a power of attorney. Kritza also forged his employer’s signature to open a bank account in the victim’s name so Kritza could conceal his use of the victim’s personal funds. Kritza stole money from the victim’s salary, endorsement contract, and sale of a condo. Kritza then used the stolen funds to maintain a lavish lifestyle for his family that included expensive luxury cars, homes, vacations, private school tuition for his children, business investments, and the attempted purchase of an airplane.
It is clear that this was an unfortunate situation to be part of for Richard Jefferson. Dealing with fraud isn't easy, and it's good that the criminal will end up getting just punishment for his actions.
Richard Jefferson is currently an NBA analyst for ESPN, who is known for bringing a hilarious presence on television. While he's likely still well off, it's great to see that he will get his money back. Sometimes, there is still justice in the world.