NBA player’s assistant stole $4.7 million over several years: Feds

The 46-year-old pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud.

The 46-year-old pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud.

the old personal assistant of former NBA player and ESPN analyst Richard Jefferson was sentenced to jail after officials said he stole millions from the player, according to media reports.

Théodore Kritza, 46 years old, has already pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud, according to an April 20 press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of Arizona.

A lawyer for Kritza did not immediately respond to a McClatchy News request for comment.

Kritza started working for the professional basketball player, who has worked with teams including the Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers, in 2005 as a personal assistant, where his responsibilities included paying Jefferson’s bills .

Over several years, Kritza stole approximately $4.7 million from Jefferson by forging his signature on dozens of documents, the statement said.

Prosecutors said Kritza forged signatures on business loans, line of credit applications and his power of attorney. He also opened a bank account in Jefferson’s name to hide his theft, the statement said.

He also stole money from Jefferson’s various NBA salaries, endorsement deals and the sale of his condo, according to the statement.

Kritza used the money to fund a ‘lavish lifestyle‘ for himself and his family that included luxury cars, homes, vacations, private school tuition, investments and an attempted purchase. of an airplane, prosecutors said.

“For years, Theodore Kritza took advantage of the trust he had gained with the victim and cheated him out of his hard-earned money and savings, choosing greed over trust. Today Kritza discovered the cost of his scheme,” Sean Kaul, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix field office, said in the statement. “This conviction sends a clear message that fraud is a serious crime, with serious consequences. remains committed to achieving justice for all victims of fraud.”

The former assistant was sentenced to 70 months in prison with five years of probation, according to the statement. Kritza was also ordered to pay $4,794,874 in restitution.

Mariah Rush is a national real-time reporter. She graduated from the University of Notre Dame and previously worked for the Chicago Tribune, the Tampa Bay Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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