Last week, we heard the story of former Michigan hoops star Rumeal Robinson evicting his own mother from her house… on 2 Rumeal Robinson Place. Perhaps he learned the mom-eviction trick from Claudio Vargas, we don’t know. But it was clearly a bad situation brought on by financial ruin, which is hardly news when it comes to athletes who “only” make about $5 million in the bigs.
Turns out Robinson blew through his money at an exceptional rate, though, to the point of declaring bankruptcy while he was still in the NBA. Amazingly, things only got worse after that, and as with all other problems in human history, strippers are at the center of it all.
As the MIAMI NEW-TIMES reports, Robinson loved the strip clubs. Still does, mind you, but he really, really loved them way back when:
As a pro, Robinson never lived up to expectations. He garnered playing time on six NBA teams from Atlanta to Los Angeles, but only once averaged more than 10 points per game.
He made more than $5 million in NBA salary alone, but blew much of it on a strip club habit that would have made Pacman Jones blush. “He would go on binges of two whole weeks where he spent $20,000 a night at a strip club,” says [Donald] Barrows, his brother. “Not only that, but he’d also have a bunch of the strippers come back to his place, get buck naked, and clean his house for $500 or $1000 each.”
This, by the way, is like one of the top 10 ballinest things you can possibly do.
But he fell in love with a stripper, and you never, ever fall in love with a stripper. Bad things happened.
After a failed stint as a hip-hop producer in Atlanta, Robinson came to South Florida around 2000 and moved into a condo on posh Williams Island in Aventura. That September, according to state documents, he founded a real estate company called Megaladon Developments, Inc. His grand plan involved turning a 25,000-acre plot of “raw ground” in his Jamaican birth town of Mandeville into a luxury resort called Harmony Cove, he would later testify in deposition.
In 2004, the 38-year-old Robinson started dating Stephanie Hodge, a 24-year old Tootsie’s Cabaret and Booby Trap stripper who claims to have had several pro-athlete boyfriends, including former Miami Heat forward Chris Gatling. “A few months” into their relationship, Hodge would later testify, Robinson gave her a position as Megaladon’s $150,000-a-year “director of marketing.”
And then, federal prosecutors claim, the criminal scheming began.
Strapped for cash, he began looking for a loan, but his credit was shot. A friend introduced him to an Iowa-based Community State Bank officer named Brian Jermaine Williams “who could get the deal done,” Robinson later testified. In October 2004, Williams authorized a $377,000 loan to Megaladon, prosecutors claim. The next day Robinson wired a $100,000 bribe back to the rogue banker.
Hold up, that’s illegal all of a sudden? Uh-oh.
Over the next 18 months, the FBI claims, Williams authorized loans and wired more than $1.2 million to accounts controlled by Robinson, Stephanie Hodge, or her brother Steven. The total was kept to less than $500,000 per individual to avoid attracting the bank’s attention. Williams even altered the loan terms to give Robinson and his cronies more time to make payments.
Megaladon, which never broke ground in Jamaica, quickly fell behind. In August 2006, Community State Bank filed suit and found Robinson had spent the money on clothing and jewelry at upscale boutiques like Luis Vuitton, Bodega, and The Royal Shop. He had bought steak dinners, plane tickets and expensive hotel stays at a Jamaican Ritz Carlton, the Bellagio in Las Vegas, and the Abbey Hotel in South Beach. He had blown nearly $800 on smokes at Coco Cigar in Coconut Grove, and even bought a $10,000 M-16 machine gun at Miami Police Supply in Little Havana.
A $10,000 machine gun. Why on earth would he need a $10,000 machine gun? Outside of a shooting rage, there’s never a situation where letting one of those off results in a positive situation. Those are for mowing down a large number of people quickly, and yes Tony Montana was badass in Scarface, we get that, but he died in the end, and that’s not exactly a good goal to shoot for. No pun intended.
Either way, since Robinson’s income was basically zero aside from scam loans, he fell even further behind, lost his fancy cars and fancier machine gun to creditors, and now he’s got basically nothing. Not only that, but his mother’s out a house, his stripper girlfriend left and found a rich doctor sugar daddy, and his earned trust has been forever eroded beyond imagination. Which brings us to the moral of the story:
“After his rookie season, he came to me saying, ‘Ma, I’m going to do your whole house over,” says [adoptive mother Helen] Ford. “I told him, ‘Do your job, get established, and save your money first.’”
In other words, ALWAYS listen to your mother.