A year after Shabazz Muhammad finished his UCLA basketball career, the controversy he left in his wake continues to swirl. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that his father, Ron Holmes, had taken out a loan based on Muhammad’s future earnings — something that could again run foul of NCAA investigators.
Three months ago, Holmes pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit federal fraud. That came nine months after the Los Angeles Times revealed that Holmes had falsified Muhammad’s age, making him a year younger with the likely hope of furthering his basketball career.
Former UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad’s father, Ron Holmes, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit federal fraud.
According the the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Holmes is cooperating in the investigation into his $2.5 million mortgage fraud scheme, one that involved helping straw buyers acquire loans on at least three different Las Vegas properites. Two bank fraud counts are being dismissed.
Holmes agreed to pay $1.7 million in restitution, and will be sentenced on March 13. He could face two to three years in prison, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Muhammad, the 14th overall pick in the last NBA draft, has scored eight points in 33 minutes this season.
In one of most unpredictable NBA drafts ever, Shabazz Muhammad stuck close to his spot in most mock drafts.
The Utah Jazz drafted the former UCLA standout at No. 14 and traded him to Minnesota. The Timberwolves had agreed to swap former Michigan point guard Trey Burke, the No. 8 pick, for the 14th and 21st picks.
The Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year’s fall to the bottom of the lottery was a disappointment when compared to the hype he generated on the prep and AAU circuits.
Among the names that went before Muhammad: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Steven Adams, Kelly Olynyk. Right after Muhammad was selected, the Milwaukee Bucks picked Giannis Antetokounmpo — the first Greek player drafted since 2000.
At this rate, Ron Holmes probably won’t be in New York for next month’s NBA draft.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Holmes — the father of former UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad — was indicted Thursday on federal bank fraud and conspiracy charges.
Holmes, who also attracted controversy for falsifying his son’s age, is accused fraudulently acquiring mortgages to purchase — and later sell — Las Vegas properties between 2006 and 2009. The U.S. attorney’s office wants $2.5 million from Holmes.
Holmes isn’t new to this type of crime. The L.A. Times previously revealed that, in 1999, Holmes had pleaded guilty to using false bank statements and tax returns to acquire mortgages. He agreed to use only his birth name as part of his probation release conditions, and was sentenced to six months’ house arrest.
The best move may be for Holmes to cut a deal and pay up, especially with Muhammad on the cusp of an NBA career. The Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year, whose age Holmes also falsified, will make at least $1.5 million his first season should he become a lottery pick.
One of the first questions asked of Shabazz Muhammad at the NBA draft combine this week was, unsurprisingly, about his age. The former No. 1 recruit’s one-and-done season at UCLA had begun with a suspension and ended with a bizarre report that his father, Ron Holmes, made his son one year younger.
After confirming again that he is 20 years old, Muhammad hinted that the blame lay solely with his father.
“I’m gonna talk for myself now,” he said. “I was a guy who used to just play basketball and let some of my guys talk for me, family members. Right now, I’m more mature as a person.”