Ferndale business owner must pay restitution to defrauded clients

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published August 20, 2019

 Ronald Robling

Ronald Robling

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FERNDALE — The owner of a Ferndale business that defrauded customers of thousands of dollars has been ordered to pay more than $77,000 in restitution.

Ronald Robling, of Center Line, was sentenced Aug. 13 at the Oakland County Circuit Court to pay $77,523.21 in restitution after he embezzled money through his business, R & S Resale.

In May, Robling pleaded guilty to one felony count of conducting a criminal enterprise and racketeering, 13 felony counts of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of $1,000 to $20,000, and one misdemeanor count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee less than $200.

In a press release, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel credited a Fox 2 News report from Rob Wolchek that led to the attorney general’s Financial Crimes Division investigating Robling, as several complaints were filed as a result.

“This case is an excellent example of the important role the media can play in helping bring bad news stories to light,” Nessel stated. “Thanks to Rob Wolchek and our own Financial Crimes Division, Robling has been held accountable for his actions.”

Through R & S Resale, Robling conducted estate and moving sales for his clients. On many occasions, he pocketed the proceeds from his sales and defrauded at least 18 victims, some of them for more than $10,000.

According to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office press release, as part of his original plea deal, Robling agreed to a minimum restitution order of $69,763.18. It was after that plea was entered that two more people came forward with claims against the businessman.

“Robling signed a stipulation for the additional victims along with a higher amount to one of the original victims, bringing the total restitution order to $77,523.21,” the release states.

At his Aug. 13 hearing, Robling received a delayed sentence from Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot. If he pays a total of $25,000 by his final sentencing date, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. July 21, 2020, his racketeering charge will be dismissed.

Robling’s attorney, Jeffrey Quas, said Robling has made a payment of $10,000 to the courthouse and will work toward paying the next $15,000 to get the racketeering charge dropped. After that, he said, the next step is paying back the rest of the money while he serves his probation, which Quas expects to be five years.

The hope, Quas said, is that if Robling pays the restitution, he can be released from probation early.

“Everybody wants their pound of flesh, and I understand that. The problem is if you send him to prison, they aren’t getting their money back,” he said. “So which one do you want? Pick your poison. Personally, I know Ron, I believe he’s sincere and wants these people to be made whole. He got stuck in a bad situation, made some bad decisions, and there’s a consequence for that — but in order to pay these people back, he’s got to make money. He understands that. He’s committed to do it, and the alternative would be to put him behind bars, and then they never see the money.”

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