September 6, 2019
TRUSTED FOUNDATION OFFICER BETRAYS THE MORAGA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AND OUR COMMUNITY
It is with great sadness that we must report that the Moraga Community Foundation has been the victim of what, based on evidence developed to date, appears to be a significant embezzlement scheme. This conduct, perpetrated by F. Robert (Bob) Fritzky, has not only violated the trust of the Foundation but also those in the community who have donated their time and money to make Moraga a better place to live.
Mr. Fritzky was Treasurer of the Moraga Community Foundation (MCF) and a director since its inception more than three years ago. At the July 2019 board meeting he was replaced as Treasurer by Wendy Scheck. In the following weeks, Ms. Scheck repeatedly requested all bank and financial records related to MCF but Mr. Fritzky stalled or otherwise ignored her requests. On August 29th, Ms. Scheck was able to access MCF’s bank account at Mechanics Bank in Moraga. A review of the transactions revealed that Mr. Fritzky had written 53 checks from the MCF bank account totaling more than $220,000 dollars which were deposited in three other bank accounts controlled by him.
The illegal diversion of money dates back to June 2016, when Mr. Fritzky wrote and deposited the first of several checks made payable to himself into his personal checking account. Mr. Fritzky also diverted MCF moneys to a bank account belonging to MedMatRx, LLC, his pharmaceutical consulting firm based in Moraga. He also wrote numerous checks to the Jeanette Fritzky Foundation, a purported non-profit charity founded in November 2018 following the untimely death of his wife, former Moraga Town Councilmember Jeanette Fritzky, in September 2018, a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
We have also reviewed bank records appearing to confirm that Fritzky forged the signature of another MCF director on nine checks in order to get around the $5000 cap on his check writing authority. The total loss to MCF on these checks is in excess of $61,000. In addition to writing checks, a review of the MCF account shows numerous electronic transactions by Mr. Fritzky that were used, in part, to pay his personal expenses and bills, which may be determined to be in violation of federal wire fraud statutes.
The MCF board of directors had no knowledge of, and did not authorize or approve, any of these transactions.
The MCF bank account at Mechanics Bank currently contains just over $9000. However, Mr. Fritzky, at a board meeting last month, misrepresented to the board that MCF had funds in excess of $140,000.
On the same day Mr. Fritzky’s unauthorized and improper conduct was discovered, MCF contacted the Moraga Police Department and shared financial material required for a criminal investigation. As part of our ongoing internal investigation, MCF is reviewing other bank accounts previously controlled by Mr. Fritzky to determine the full extent of his apparent embezzlement.
MCF is currently investigating Mr. Fritzky’s activities in a second MCF account at Union Bank. While we are still working on obtaining check copies and additional bank statements, on the Union Bank account. Of note, it appears Mr Fritzky wire transferred MCF funds totaling $53,282.99 to his MetMatRX account at First Republic Bank, made multiple ATM cash withdrawals, and paid numerous personal expenses such as credit card bills, gasoline purchases, airline tickets and travel expenses to Pennsylvania. His apparent embezzlement from MCF’s Union Bank account, even with partial accounting, exceeded $100,000 in 2017 alone.
Mr. Fritzky, who also serves currently as President of the Moraga Chamber of Commerce, was removed from the MCF board of directors at a special meeting on Tuesday, September 3rd.
The Moraga Community Foundation is taking steps and evaluating its options for recovering these funds. However, we have recently learned that Mr. Fritzky filed for bankruptcy protection on May 19th, one day before his Sanders Ranch home was scheduled for a foreclosure auction. Mr. Fritzky also failed to advise the MCF board of his recent bankruptcy filing, and that he had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2010 in an apparent effort to avoid paying his debts.
As a founding board member and a prominent member of the Moraga business community, Mr. Fritzky was trusted with the financial stewardship of the Moraga Community Foundation. That trust was violated. Sadly, Mr. Fritzky’s criminal conduct puts at risk pending and future projects aimed at benefiting everyone who calls Moraga home.
Dave Trotter, MCF Vice President and Director
(925) 876-1503 (cell)