Fraud Case Upheld Against Basketball Star

A federal appeals court upholds case against former NBA player.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the convictions and
78-month prison sentence of former college and NBA basketball player Rumeal Robinson.

Robinson had been convicted of eleven fraud and bribery charges in September 2010.

Trial evidence established that Robinson paid a $100,000 kickback to a Community State Bank loan officer in exchange for receiving a large loan. Robinson also submitted a fake tax return to the bank in an attempt to qualify for loans. He recruited straw borrowers to take out loans
that were actually intended for him and used “business” loan proceeds to fund his lavish personal lifestyle.

Robinson also used his mother’s home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in three sham transactions to generate money for himself. In total, more than $1.3 million in loans were made from Community State Bank to Robinson or for his benefit. Robinson never made any repayments on these loans and spent a large portion of the money on cars, motorcycles, strip clubs, clothes, a condominium, and other personal expenses. Robinson’s conduct caused a substantial loss to Community State Bank, forced two people to file for bankruptcy, and resulted in his mother
losing the home where she had lived for more than 30 years.

During his sentencing hearing, Robinson expressed no remorse for his fraud. Instead, he complained that his mother was not adequately appreciative of the mink coats, exotic trips, and vehicles he had purchased for her and their family during his basketball career.

The Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Longstaff’s conclusion that Robinson was simply trying to delay the case with his last-minute request for new counsel. The Court of Appeals also concluded that Judge Longstaff did not commit legal error when he took Robinson’s statements
at the sentencing hearing into account in determining the appropriate prison sentence.

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