Macomb County man pleads guilty in estate sale racketeering scheme

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A Macomb County man pleaded guilty to multiple felonies last week for his role in a racketeering scheme between 2015 and 2017.

Ronald Robling, 48, of Center Line, defrauded 16 Michigan residents out of thousands of dollars, according to the Michigan Attorney General's office.

Between August 2015 and September 2017, Robling – through his estate sales company R & S Resale – employed a racketeering scheme while holding estate sales and moving sales for his clients.  Robling engaged 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 pleaded guilty before Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rae Lee Chabot to the following charges:

  • One felony count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise – a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and/or $100,000;
  • 12 felony counts of Embezzlement by an Agent or Trustee of $1,000 - $20,000 – a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or $10,000, or three times the amount embezzled (whichever is greater); and
  • One misdemeanor count of Embezzlement by an Agent or Trustee Less Than $200 – a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail and/or $500, or three times the amount embezzled (whichever is greater).

As part of his plea agreement, Robling will receive a delayed sentence and is required to pay $10,000 in restitution at or before the time of the initial sentencing or before July 31, 2019 – whichever comes first. If Robling fails to pay the $10,000 in restitution, he will immediately be sentenced.   

Additionally, Robling is also required to pay an additional $15,000 – for a total of $25,000 in restitution – by the end of his delayed sentence. If Robling pays $25,000 toward restitution by the end of the delayed sentence period, his racketeering charge will be dismissed and he will be sentenced on the remaining charges at that time. 

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.