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Former College and NBA Basketball Player Rumeal Robinson Sentenced to 78 Months in Prison Following Conviction on Bank Bribery, Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, and Related Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office January 07, 2011
  • Southern District of Iowa (515) 473-9300

DES MOINES, IA—Former college and NBA basketball player Rumeal Robinson was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 78 months for the crimes of bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and making a false statement to a financial institution, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt. A jury in the Southern District of Iowa found Robinson guilty of these offenses in early September 2010.

United States District Judge Ronald E. Longstaff imposed the sentence, which also includes five years of supervised release following Robinson’s prison term, restitution of $1,184,615 and a special assessment of $1,100 to the Crime Victims Fund.

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, recruited straw borrowers to take out loans that were actually intended for him, and used “business” loan proceeds to fund his lavish personal lifestyle. 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.

According to evidence at sentencing, 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. In addition, District Court Judge Longstaff concluded that Robinson had lied under oath during a 2007 civil deposition relating to the loans.

Robinson has been in jail since December 21, 2010, due to his failure to appear for sentencing hearings on two occasions. He was ordered to remain in custody to begin serving his sentence.

U.S. Attorney Klinefeldt said he was pleased with the sentence. “This sentence reinforces the seriousness of economic crimes,” he said. “Rumeal Robinson defrauded the bank and the people around him in order to obtain money. He used his status as a former basketball star to earn people’s trust, then manipulated that trust for his own selfish ends. His conduct ruined several people’s lives and caused a significant loss to the bank. The sentence reflects the harm he caused.”

Klinefeldt said he hopes Robinson’s sentence will serve as a deterrent to others tempted to commit fraud. “You cannot lie to a bank or pay off a bank officer in order to obtain money,” he said. “You also cannot use someone else’s name and credit score to obtain money for yourself, even with the consent of that other person. We will continue to aggressively prosecute these types of fraudulent schemes and seek prison sentences for wrongdoers.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the offenses and provided considerable assistance in the prosecution of the case. Weysan Dun, Special Agent in Charge of the Omaha Division of the FBI, stated, “Robinson’s deceitful actions ruined lives, destroyed families, devastated a bank and today’s sentence is warranted. We hope that sentences like this can help educate the public about these financial schemes so that people can defend themselves against such criminal activity. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is dedicated to investigating those who use their status to engage in fraud against financial institutions and other entities and individuals.”

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