NBA player’s dad faces prison time over mortgage fraud

by Ryan Smith31 Mar 2014
The father of NBA player Shabazz Muhammad will spend more than three years in federal prison for his role in a $2.5 million mortgage fraud scam.

Ronald Holmes, 51, was sentenced to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay about $1.7 million in restitution, according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Holmes was also sentenced to five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service following his release.

Holmes pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. Defense attorney Michael Lipman had asked for a lighter sentence, citing Holmes’ work as a volunteer assistant basketball coach for at-risk youth.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Schiess cited a 1999 mortgage fraud conviction, for which Holmes received probation, as evidence that Holmes should receive a harsher penalty as a repeat fraudster, the Review-Journal reported.

Scheiss also accused Holmes of exploiting his son’s talent, saying that in 2013 Holmes told an FBI agent he was living off a loan he obtained because of his son’s prospects as a top draft pick, according to the Review-Journal. Muhammad was playing for UCLA at the time.

Muhammad joined the NBA last year as a No. 1 draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves.