PONTIAC, Mich. (FOX 2) - The owner of an estate sale business who promised to help grieving families only to rip them off and steal tens of thousands of dollars, has taken a plea deal and may never go to jail for his crimes.
We first met Ron Robling in April 2017 when he was running his business R & S Resale, a company that held estate sales.
Most of his customers were already sad after losing a loved one and they said Ron then ripped them off. One victim, Jenn, hired Robling to sell the remaining assets after her sister's suicide. Ron promised to handle everything and, according to Jenn, he did. She said he sold her deceased sisters car and other valuables and keeping much of the profits for himself.
She wasn't the only victim. Others told similar stories and you can watch them all here.
When confronted by Rob Wolcheck at the time, Ron wouldn't even make eye contact or answer any questions.
Then the attorney general's office started asking their own questions. He was eventually charged with 14 counts of embezzlement and one count of rackateering.
We tried to ask him questions during his court appearances but he avoided Rob at all turns.
Now, in front or Judge Rae Lee Chobot, he pleaded guilty to all charges and admitted to embezzling almost $70,000 of his client's money. As part of that plea deal, he took a delayed sentencing, meaning if he comes up with restitution, he could avoid prison altogether.
Ron, who claimed he didn't have the money to afford his own attorney, had a court appointed attorney. That lawyer, Jeff Quas, said all sides want victims to get what's owed.
"Obviously we want the victims to get their money back. The only way that's going to happen is if he's making money and able to pay them back," Quas said.
If he comes up with the funds in time, the criminal enterprise conviction will be dropped.
But even still, he's not talking. We tried to ask him to apologize to victims or say anything - but he snuck out the back door.
"You want to say anything? You want to apologize to your victims?" we asked.
Ron walked away. We went around back and caught up to him in the lobby but he just left the courthouse.
"C'mon Ron. This is your chance to apologize," we said. "So Ron, you took all that money from people who trusted you and you got nothing to say? You're just going to run away? Last chance Ron. You got nothing to say to your victims?"
Instead, the embezzler zips away into the parking lot.
"You are one heartless dude. You got nothing to say to these people who trusted you with all their stuff and all their loved ones stuff? And now you're just going to run away?"
The answer, it seems, is yes, he will just run away.
So even though Ron pleaded guilty to more than a dozen felonies and one misdemeanor, there's a possibility he could spend absolutely no time behind bars. All he has to do is come up with the $70,000 in restitution.