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Father of Shabazz Muhammed, former UCLA basketball star & #1 NBA draft pick, sentenced in mortgage fraud case; admitted loan connected to son’s earning potential

Posted On: March 28, 2014 | By Tamara N. Holder
Shabazz Muhammed, former UCLA basketball player turned #1 pick to NBA Timberwolves & his parents

Shabazz Muhammed, former UCLA basketball player turned #1 pick to NBA Timberwolves & his parents

Shabazz Muhammed’s father, Ronald Holmes was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison after he admitted that mortgage loan was connected to his son’s earning potential in the NBA. (Muhammed was an UCLA Bruins basketball player and was later the #1 pick of the NBA’s Tibmerwolves.)

According to the AP/Oregonlive.com:

In December, Holmes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud after being accused of using straw buyers and false information for home purchases. He has to pay $1.7 million in restitution. Though the defense seeks a sentence of 366 days in prison plus community service, prosecutors want 37 months. Holmes has been under house arrest in Las Vegas since late May. Holmes was also convicted of mortgage fraud in 2000 in Los Angeles County and served six months of house arrest.

According to a sentencing brief filed last week, Ron Holmes told the FBI he received a loan based on his son’s future professional basketball earnings. Estimated at $350,000 in another court document, the loan was Holmes’ principal source of income at the time and came from an unidentified “marketing company.” Holmes also expected to receive $200,000 to $300,000 a year from the deal once Muhammad was in the NBA.

Trouble followed Muhammad to UCLA. He missed the school’s first three games in the 2012-13 season after the NCAA ruled him ineligible for receiving expenses from a family friend to pay for two unofficial recruiting visits to other schools. And last March, documents confirmed Muhammad was a year older than listed. Still, Muhammad was named to the All-Pac-12 first team as he averaged 17.9 points a game and displayed the ability that made him one of the country’s sought-after high school recruits. UCLA, though, lost its NCAA tournament opener in 2013 and subsequently fired its coach, Ben Howland.

The NBA transition hasn’t gone smoothly. Muhammad, who signed a two-year contract with Minnesota for $3.86 million, was dismissed from the league’s rookie program in August for bringing a woman to his room. This season he has averaged 3.1 points in limited playing time over 31 games for the Timberwolves.

Maybe it was the media attention that tipped-off prosecutors? Just a year ago, the LA Times published a feature story on the father-son relationship, “NCAA to NBA millions: UCLA star’s father mapped out a dream” that states, in part:

The father decided long ago that he would make the system work for him. For years, Holmes has tirelessly promoted the Shabazz Muhammad brand to scouts, journalists, money managers and others. Holmes navigated every difficulty, including a potentially devastating NCAA sanction that ultimately sidelined his son for only a few games.

The selling of Shabazz began before he was born.

Holmes now has 37 months to map out a new plan…from behind prison bars…

Categories: ALL TIME FAVORITES | College Basketball | COURT CALL | Crime | NBA

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