Nearing 70, the now widowed Helen lives in a smaller apartment in the Boston area. Robinson claims she “conspired with the feds” in his case. She also took part in numerous media stories that, he said, made it seem like the lost house was the center of the case. All while, he said, discounting the Mercedes, the mink coat and the other gifts he provided her through the years. She eventually testified on behalf of the prosecution, a devastating blow Robinson said. “People are going to believe your mother when she says you were doing things,” Robinson said. “… The damage was done before [I] stepped into court. There’s a lot of misunderstanding about my case.”
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He strongly maintains his innocence, partly on the grounds that his request for new representation just before his trial should have been granted. He says while he did a poor job of handling sophisticated loans and debts, he is not a criminal. Robinson points much of the blame on prosecutors and Helen Ford. In an effort to help fund the casino/resort project, his adoptive mother signed her home over to Robinson’s business group – she says unwittingly. The house was eventually lost to foreclosure.
Helen and Lou Ford gave it to him, taking him in initially and later adopting him. They’d go on to raise dozens of kids in Cambridge either adopted or foster. Robinson was their star though. The city eventually named their street Rumeal Robinson Way. He blew his NBA millions, he admits, through wasteful spending and a taste for high-priced toys. His attempts to become a businessman after basketball, notably his plan to open a resort and casino in his native Jamaica, unraveled and led him here.
Today Robinson is not big time, his world far bleaker and monotonous. The pressure of prison is far greater than some foul line. He’s serving a six-and-a-half year sentence for a 2010 conviction on bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution. He was found guilty of fraudulently borrowing more than $700,000 from an Iowa bank. He still owes $1,184,615 in restitution. There aren’t any shining moments at FCI-Oakdale. Once the toast of his sport, he’s little more than federal inmate No. 82671-004. While there are basketball courts out back, Robinson, 46, doesn’t play. He stays in shape mostly by taking long walks in short spaces, round and round the yard, nowhere to go.
Ronald E. Longstaff, United States District Judge for the Southern District of Iowa saw it differently. He criticized Robinson’s stance as a demonstration of “absolutely no remorse, absolutely no acknowledgement of fault. The record is replete with significant fraud.”
A federal judge in Iowa says nearly $369,000 may be seized from the pension fund of former professional basketball player Rumeal Robinson to help cover restitution he owes for a sham business deal. The Des Moines Register reports ( http://dmreg.co/wLHanc) federal prosecutors had filed papers to tap Robinson’s NBA pension account and were granted permission this week.
A former loan officer has been sentenced to 2 years in prison in a bank fraud conspiracy involving former NBA player Rumeal Robinson. The U.S. attorney’s office said Brian Williams was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines for scheming with Robinson in 2004 and 2005 to borrow more than $700,000 from Community State Bank in Ankeny, where Williams was a loan officer.