CLEVELAND (AP) — A former Cleveland Browns wide receiver who pleaded guilty to stealing over $100,000 from two charities to finance gambling debts and personal expenses has been sentenced to 21 months in prison.
A federal judge in Cleveland on Wednesday also ordered 68-year-old Reggie Rucker to pay $110,000 in restitution. Rucker pleaded guilty earlier to wire fraud and false statements after FBI investigators found he had routinely made withdrawals from a charity’s account at casino ATMs in Cleveland and Las Vegas.
Rucker played 11 NFL seasons. He was executive director for a Cleveland-based charity created by NFL great Jim Brown to help inner-city youth and had a lead role with an anti-gang violence group.
Rucker’s attorney says Rucker’s gambling addiction was related to football-related brain injuries that caused a loss of impulse control.