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Ex-NBA Player Rumeal Robinson's Prison Sentence Upheld

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By Dyanna Quizon, Esq. on December 08, 2011 3:25 PM

It seems former-college-basketball-star-turned-NBA-disappointment Rumeal Robinson's hard-partying ways have finally caught up with him. And there's no one left to bail him out. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions on eleven counts of fraud and bribery charges and upheld his 78-month prison sentence.

An Iowa jury found Robinson guilty of using such underhanded tactics as bribing a Community State Bank loan officer, submitting a fake tax return, recruiting straw borrowers, and using his mother's home in order to fund his extremely extravagant lifestyle.

The list of items Robinson reportedly blew his money on is enough to make a European playboy envious: clothes and jewelry from Louis Vuitton, steak dinners, plane tickets, stays at the Jamaican Ritz-Carlton, hundreds-of-dollars worth of cigars, a $10,000 M16 machine gun, a Maserati, Ducati motorcycles, and strip clubs.

But all debaucherous lifestyles must eventually come to an end, and he was convicted and given a 78-month sentence. During his sentencing hearing, Robinson reportedly complained his mother was not appreciative enough of the gifts he gave her despite losing the house she lived in for more than 30 years due to his actions. He also compared the trial court judge to the bribed banker because they both "manipulated and played upon [his] ignorance of the law."

Robinson and his attorney, however, knew enough of the law to appeal his sentence on two issues: 1) the denial of his request for new counsel on the morning of his trial; and 2) the judge's ability to take his statements at the sentencing hearing into account.

The Eighth Circuit sided with the District Court judge's conclusion that Robinson only requested new counsel in order to delay proceedings and held that the court did not abuse its discretion in denying a continuance.

Further, the Court of Appeals concluded it was appropriate for the judge to take his statements at the sentencing hearing into account when determining the appropriate prison sentence, noting that a sentencing court is entitled to "consider, without limitation, any information concerning the background, character and conduct of the defendant, unless otherwise prohibited by law."

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