PHOENIX — The owner of a popular Roosevelt Row restaurant will be going to prison after a felony conviction in federal court Tuesday.
Breakfast Bitch, now on 3rd and Roosevelt streets in downtown Phoenix, already stands out for its unique name. It's been a popular breakfast spot since opening a block north on Portland Street in 2020.
Owner Tracii Hutsona was arrested in February 2021 outside the old restaurant location. In July 2022, Hutsona took a plea deal for wire fraud, admitting in federal court that she stole more than $1 million from actress Joumana Kidd, NBA star Jason Kidd’s ex-wife.
Court records say Hutsona was working as an assistant for Joumana Kidd between 2015 and 2019 when she stole the money to fund her own luxury lifestyle.
"This wasn’t just opening up a credit card in someone else’s name," explained Julie Schwartz. "She stole money from the kids’ college funds. Joumana’s credit was ruined."
Schwartz, with private investigation firm T&M, worked on this case. She spoke with 12News in 2022 and was in federal court on Tuesday for Hutsona's sentencing.
"Tracii presents as a wonderful person," Schwartz told 12News. "She’s attractive. She knows how to walk the walk, talk the talk. If Joumana did a little research, she may have seen Tracii’s past."
This isn't the first time Hutsona's been in hot water. In 2008, records show Hutsona was convicted in a fraud scheme and was sentenced to six years in federal prison.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office pointed that out ahead of sentencing in this current case, calling Hutsona a “serial fraudster.”
Hutsona’s side asked for leniency from the judge ahead of sentencing. Her attorney indicated in court records that she employs more than 100 people at her restaurants and that a lengthy prison sentence could put the businesses at risk.
Fourteen others wrote the judge on Hutsona's behalf, including friends, family members and restaurant colleagues.
Hutsona penned a letter to the judge, saying she feels “remorse” for what happened with Joumana Kidd and that the restaurants have been her “redemption.”
Ultimately, the judge ordered 51 months in federal prison, more than the prosecution requested.
12News reached out to Hutsona and her attorney Tuesday afternoon but has not heard back.
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