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Ex-wide receiver Rucker accused of theft, wire fraud

reggierucker Getty Images

Federal authorities allege that former NFL wide receiver and broadcaster Reggie Rucker used charitable donations intended for Hall of Famer Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can foundation to pay gambling debts and personal expenses.

Rucker was charged Tuesday with one count of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to law enforcement.

The criminal information filing indicates that Rucker, 68, withdrew more than $500,000 from the Amer-I-Can account between 2011 and February 2015, when federal investigators interviewed him. That included $38,000 withdrawn from casino ATMs and tens of thousands of dollars he used to pay off gambling debts.

“Reggie Rucker misused his celebrity and position in the community to dupe some of our most important local foundations and generous citizens,” acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said in a statement. “He stole from the very violence interrupters he so publicly claimed to support. In one breath he begged generous donors to save Amer-I-Can and the Peacemakers Alliance, and in the next he stole that money to support his lifestyle and his gambling junkets in Cleveland, Florida, and Las Vegas, using the charity’s account as his own ATM.”

Brown is the founder of Amer-I-Can, a program that supports inner-city youth. Rucker worked with Brown on that and other charitable and youth endeavors. listed Rucker as the founder of the Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance.

Rucker played the final seven seasons of his 12-year NFL career with the Browns. He also played for the Patriots, Cowboys and Giants. He worked as a broadcaster after his playing career and called NFL games on NBC from 1983-88.

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14 Responses to “Ex-wide receiver Rucker accused of theft, wire fraud”
  1. deepseabreeze says: Feb 16, 2016 3:00 PM

    Sad story. Gambling, if you let it take hold of you, is just as bad as drugs. It ruins lives.

  2. duanethomas33 says: Feb 16, 2016 3:11 PM

    68 years old.

    Betrays public and private trust.

    Federal crimes, which means day for day sentence.

    If he gets 10 years, its almost a life sentence.

    The people he stole from, he will now be housed with them…not a smart decision.

    I have no sympathy.

  3. lnfinite says: Feb 16, 2016 3:25 PM

    Lock up the loser and toss the key. He is the lowest of thieves.

  4. ctiggs says: Feb 16, 2016 3:45 PM

    Browns no matter how young or old just cant get out of their own way.

  5. Duckhomie says: Feb 16, 2016 4:43 PM

    There have to be more involved…with money like that going missing, there were zero safeguards or audits incorporated into their system. Who audited them and when? What a despicable thing to do.

  6. Patskrieg says: Feb 16, 2016 4:49 PM

    Typical Brown/Giant/Cowboy/Patriot

  7. hgbullitt says: Feb 16, 2016 5:27 PM

    Why is it that you never hear about any successful former Browns? Are there any?

  8. abninf says: Feb 16, 2016 5:41 PM

    He needs to join Fan Duel. I can get him a promo code.

  9. Adam Huntington says: Feb 16, 2016 6:00 PM

    He probably has CTE like other NFL players before him who went down this path. Junior Seau did the same in regards to gambling. A good defense lawyer should figure this out.

    Think about it. This might be could be considered a warning sign of the disease.

    Prosecutors will not look good if this guy has CTE and knowledge that this could be attributed to former employer, The NFL. Handle with care Carole and don’t be so judgmental.

  10. Probowler Teddy Bridgewater says: Feb 16, 2016 7:04 PM

    I didn’t even know he played for my Vikings.

  11. winkingbrowneye says: Feb 16, 2016 8:30 PM

    Them damn dice wouldn’t cooperate!

  12. moses74 says: Feb 16, 2016 9:51 PM

    Everybody including professionals call addiction and diseases but honestly, that’s a cop out excuse, its the choices you make. All addicts must pay the piper sooner or later.

  13. RegisHawk says: Feb 17, 2016 11:44 AM

    Why is it that you never hear about any successful former Browns? Are there any?

    Because Jim Brown put a voodoo curse on the team.

  14. hgbullitt says: Feb 17, 2016 1:15 PM

    Found two, Ozzie Newsome and Dave Logan. Neither of whom stayed in Cleveland.

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