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A Center Line businessman has pleaded guilty to multiple charges in connection with a racketeering scheme that state authorities allege defrauded 16 Michigan residents out of thousands of dollars.

Investigators accuse Ronald Robling of pocketing what clients earned in deals through his estate sales company, R&S Resale, between August 2015 and September 2017.

"In some instances, the proceeds he failed to return to his clients exceeded $10,000," the state Attorney General's Office said in a statement Thursday.

Last week, the 48-year-old pleaded guilty before Oakland County Circuit Judge Rae Lee Chabot. The charges were: conducting a criminal enterprise, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $100,000; 12 felony counts of embezzlement by an agent or trustee of $1,000-$20,000, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and at least $10,000; and a misdemeanor count of embezzlement by an agent or trustee less than $200, which carries a maximum sentence of 93 days in jail and at least $500. 

As part of his plea agreement, Robling will receive a delayed sentence.

If he pays $25,000 in restitution by the end of the delayed sentence period, the racketeering charge would be dismissed and he will be sentenced on the remaining charges, authorities said Thursday. 

“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. “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.”

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