Father of ex-UCLA star charged in mortgage scam

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal magistrate on Friday ordered the father of former UCLA basketball star Shabazz Muhammad held under house arrest pending trial on charges he ran a mortgage scam.

Ronald Holmes will have GPS monitoring and can leave the house to coach his daughter, professional tennis player Asia Muhammad, and athletes at a Las Vegas-area high school. But he can’t engage in financial transactions involving mortgages or real estate, U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. decided.

Holmes, 51, pleaded not guilty Thursday to bank fraud and conspiracy charges in an indictment alleging he reaped more than $2.5 million using phony information and straw buyers to obtain and sell at least three Las Vegas homes between 2006 and 2009. He is due for trial Aug. 6.

Prosecutor Daniel Schiess alleged during a detention hearing that Holmes engaged in the same criminal conduct in Las Vegas for which he was convicted in California in 2000 — using fake names and fraudulent bank statements to obtain mortgages in Los Angeles County. Under a plea agreement, Holmes was sentenced to six months of house arrest and ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution to several banks in that case.

Schiess also referred to reports that Holmes misrepresented his 20-year-old son’s age to make him appear a year younger and make him more attractive to NBA scouts.

Shabazz Muhammad was a top college basketball recruit out of high school. He was the UCLA Bruins’ leading scorer with 17.9 points per game — fourth-best in the Pac-12 — and was named league co-freshman of the year before leaving the school this spring to head to the NBA draft.

Muhammad began the season under the cloud of an NCAA investigation. He was forced to sit out the first three games and repay $1,600 in impermissible benefits after the NCAA and UCLA found that he accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to Duke and North Carolina.

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