San Diego Restaurant Owner Accused Of Litany Of Misdoings In Scathing New York Times Exposé

April 16, 2021

Following an arrest by federal agents earlier this year, a San Diego restaurant owner is accused of a litany of misdoings detailed in a scathing New York Times exposé.

An article published by the New York Times yesterday entitled "A Cautionary Tale for Nearly Everyone" includes a multitude of accusations of fraud and other misdeeds against San Diego restaurateur Tracii Show Hutsona, the founder of recently reopened Breakfast Bitch brunch eatery in Hillcrest. Hutsona was reportedly arrested in February 2021 by the United States Secret Service and New York Police Department on wire fraud and identity theft charges, as well as accusations she embezzled "more than one million dollars as part of a confidence scheme." 

Tracii Hutsona (photo from Elite Lux Life website)
In addition to discussing the background of the incidents that led to the federal arrest, which consists of alleged fraud against actress and the ex-wife of former NBA star Jason Kidd, the NY Times piece details other alleged wrongdoings spanning more than a decade. Accusations range from creating and paying fictitious contractors then funneling monies to herself, to using bad checks, to blatant theft and fraud. There are also accusations that Hutsona's Breakfast Bitch restaurant is a concept stolen from a Miami, FL eatery called Bacon Bitch. The article even includes damning statements made by Hutsona's older sister, a marriage and family therapist who lives in California's Bay Area.

"She’s just a con artist, it's really sad to say," the New York Times quoted Deborah Lindstrom, Hutsona's alleged sister. "And she's really good at it. She has been her whole life. She can talk anybody into anything.”

Hutsona opened Breakfast Bitch restaurant in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood in July 2019, with a second outpost launched in Phoenix, AZ, in November 2020. According to public filings, the restaurant concept is also owned and operated by Hutsona's husband, former pro-footballer Derrell Hutsona. The couple also operates Elite Lux Life VIP concierge services and lifestyle management in the Los Angeles area, a fact discussed in the NY Times article. 

In early February 2021, the Hutsonas announced they would not be reopening the San Diego outpost of Breakfast Bitch due to COVID-19 restrictions, but they decided earlier this month to revive the Hillcrest restaurant as they searched for a second, larger space in a different San Diego neighborhood.

"Derrell and I have both made mistakes in our past, but this has nothing to do with who we are doing today, or the businesses that we have created together," Tracii Hutsona said in a statement made to SanDiegoVille. "We work extremely hard, and have built what we have legitimately. People love fake news more than the truth because it's juicy and fun to talk about. Sadly, there are people who would rather celebrate failure than success in others. This other restaurant on the other side of the country has lost the battle they started over the B word, and chosen to hitch themselves to a ridiculous story with a lot or hearsay and twisted truths. As of today, there has not been an indictment. We are confident that the truth will prevail when this is all over. Meanwhile, we will continue to work in our business. We have been surviving through this pandemic, and trying to support our staff as well. Most of these allegations are so preposterous - escaping from prison?? There is no way that if this were true, I would be at work today, running my restaurant. Come to think of it, our days of late have been working about 14 to 16 hours in nonslip shoes from Walmart, going home smelling like bacon and eggs… Not quite living the life of luxury on other people's dime."

Accusations against Hutsona come only a couple weeks following the sentencing of former San Diego restaurateur, Gina Champion-Cain, to a term of 15 years in prison for criminal charges stemming from an approximately $400 million fraud scheme. Champion-Cain pled guilty to criminal charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and obstruction of justice for operating an "egregious fraud" against over 100 investors. 

Breakfast Bitch reopened yesterday at 3825 Fifth Avenue in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood. The full complaint for the United States of America v. Tracii Show Hutsona is copied below.