Ferndale business owner pleads guilty to racketeering, embezzlement

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 18, 2019

 Ronald Robling

Ronald Robling

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FERNDALE — The owner of a Ferndale estate sales business pleaded guilty to a racketeering scheme that defrauded people out of thousands of dollars.

Center Line resident Ronald Robling, 48, pleaded guilty to 14 charges May 31 before Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot for embezzling money from 16 clients of his estate sales company, R and S Resale.

According to a press release, Robling pleaded guilty to one felony count of conducting a criminal enterprise, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine, and 12 felony counts of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of $1,000 to $20,000, which holds a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a fine of $10,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.

He also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee less than $200, which carries a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is greater.

Robling was arraigned May 29, 2018, at the 43rd District Court in Ferndale.

“Protecting our residents from those who seek to perpetrate fraud against them is a top priority for the department,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a prepared statement. “This plea agreement is an effort to return the money stolen from Mr. Robling’s clients as quickly as possible and make certain he is held accountable for his actions.”

According to the release, when holding estate sales between August 2015 and September 2017, Robling would engage in “a pattern of repeatedly failing to pay his clients their portion of the sales. Instead, Robling used the funds for his own purposes. In some instances, the proceeds he failed to return to his clients exceeded $10,000.”

Robling’s plea agreement, which is a delayed sentence, requires him to pay $10,000 in restitution at or before the time of his initial sentencing, or before July 31. If Robling does not pay the restitution, he will be sentenced “immediately.”

The plea agreement also requires Robling to pay $15,000 in restitution by the end of his delayed sentence, for a total of $25,000. If he pays the total amount by the end of his delayed sentence, Robling’s “racketeering charge will be dismissed and he will be sentenced on the remaining charges at that time.”

Robling is scheduled to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 23, at the Oakland County Circuit Court. His attorney, Jeffrey Quas, could not be reached for comment by press time.

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