A federal grand jury has indicted the former business manager of Cleveland Cavaliers player Richard Jefferson for allegedly defrauding the professional athlete of $7M. Theodore Kritza is charged with more than 22 criminal counts related to financial fraud.
Jefferson reportedly paid the agency that Kritza worked for $250,000 a year to manage his financial accounts and pay his bills. Although Kritza did pay the NBA player’s bills, he also allegedly bilked him of millions of dollars.
According to the indictment, Kritza forged Jefferson’s signature on documents that gave the money manager power of attorney over the NBA athlete’s finances. Kritza also allegedly renewed credit lines, established new credit lines, and transferred funds from Jefferson’s accounts using his fake power of attorney. In 2012, the NBA player discovered numerous loans that had supposedly been initiated by him even though he did not give his consent.
In one instance, Kritza purportedly said he would use his own house as collateral if Jefferson would to let him use a credit line. Jefferson agreed under the assumption that Kritza would make the scheduled payments so that the credit line could be fulfilled. Instead, Kritza allegedly renewed the credit line without Jefferson’s permission, didn’t use his home as collateral, and took the funds for himself. Kritza also allegedly deposited millions of dollars from the credit lines into Jefferson’s accounts and then disbursed the money to his own bank accounts, as well as used $980K of the athlete’s funds to pay credit cards bills.
In 2014, Western Alliance Bank filed a lawsuit against Jefferson over a $455K credit line that he had with the bank. The NBA athlete filed a countersuit claiming he knew nothing about the credit line and that Kritza had forged his signature.
Ex-business manager indicted in $7M defrauding of former UA standout Richard Jefferson, Tucson.com, June 30, 2017
Richard Jefferson’s ex-business manager accused of $7M fraud, ESPN, July 1, 2017