Former Michigan star Rumeal Robinson sentenced to prison

Published Jan. 7, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

Former Michigan basketball star Rumeal Robinson, who helped the Wolverines win the 1989 national championship, was sentenced to 6 and 1/2 years in prison Friday for bank bribery and wire fraud, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Robinson, 44, was convicted Sept. 8 in Des Moines, Iowa of defrauding a local bank with the help of a bank employee. Robinson and bank officer Brian Williams obtained more than $1 million in loans from Community State Bank, supposedly for development of a resort in Jamaica.

Prosecutors said that Robinson and Williams split the money, and Robinson spent the rest on himself.

"Rumeal Robinson (is) a manipulative and dishonest person who lived a lavish lifestyle in the mid-2000s at the expense of friends, relatives, strangers and an Iowa bank," Stephen Locher, an assistant U.S. attorney, said in a government sentencing document.

"His fraudulent actions forced two people into bankruptcy, resulted in the eviction of his mother from the home where she had lived with foster children for more than 30 years and put Community State Bank at risk of losing more than $1 million."

Williams pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced Jan. 14. Robinson was arrested Dec. 22 after twice failing to appear for sentencing.

Robinson played nine years in the NBA at the guard position, retiring in 1997. He is famous for making two free throws with three seconds remaining in the 1989 national championship game, giving Michigan an 80-79 overtime win over Seton Hall.