By creator to www.nola.com
The daddy of a neighborhood sports activities superfan preventing a uncommon liver sickness obtained an eight-year federal jail sentence in New Orleans on Tuesday after admitting that he stole as a lot as $150,000 in donations made to assist his son, in keeping with courtroom officers.
Jordy Robertson’s punishment, handed to him by U.S. District Decide Wendy Vitter, closes the guide on a authorized drama surrounding the “It Takes Lives to Save Lives” basis, which attracted nationwide media consideration after he ostensibly launched the group to learn his son Jarrius “JJ” Robertson.
Because of the publicity, the Saints and LSU sports activities program invited Jarrius to be a particular visitor at their occasions. WWE additionally gave him an award for bravery throughout its annual Wrestlemania occasion when New Orleans hosted it in 2018.
However the effort led to shame when the elder Robertson acknowledged diverting between $95,000 and $150,000 from the muse’s coffers to his personal pockets, together with about $70,000 in presents from New Orleans Saints proprietor Gayle Benson, Nationwide Soccer League Commissioner Roger Goodell and Ochsner Medical Heart, which handled Jarrius’ situation.
Jarrius, who’s now 19, has by no means been accused of wrongdoing. As an alternative, prosecutors mentioned Jordy Robertson exploited his son’s medical situation for money he then largely used to gamble at space casinos.
A uncommon illness that Jarrius has spent his life battling — biliary atresia — figured prominently within the case that the federal authorities constructed towards his father. The sickness has pressured Jarrius to endure two liver transplants, and it has considerably restricted his development, main many to imagine that he’s youthful than he’s.
Jordy Robertson, who based the supposedly nonprofit It Takes Lives to Save Lives group to boost cash when his in poor health son grew well-known as…
Jarrius’ story gained consideration throughout the nation after members of the New Orleans Saints visited him in late 2015 as he obtained remedy at Ochsner. And inside months, Jordy Robertson began “It Takes Lives,” soliciting donations for the teenager whereas saying the cash would assist cowl his medical prices and lift consciousness about organ donation.
Robertson’s authorized issues started when authorities decided that the federal Medicaid program had truly coated Jarrius’ medical bills, which had additionally been adjusted by Ochsner. In addition they established that Robertson had despatched the donations — coming by means of a GoFundMe account and private giving — to financial institution accounts underneath his management, earlier than spending the cash on purchases and at regional casinos, primarily Kenner’s Treasure Chest.
Prosecutors finally charged Robertson with wire fraud and, individually, conspiring to promote cocaine and heroin samples to a federal informant. He was arrested in February 2019, pleaded responsible seven months later, and was sentenced after a collection of delays, partly because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He’ll obtain credit score for time served in custody awaiting the result of his case.
Every of the felonies Robertson pleaded responsible to hold a most of 20 years in jail. However prosecutors on Tuesday filed papers saying he deserved lower than the utmost for his resolution to plead comparatively early in his prosecution.
Vitter additionally ordered Robertson to pay greater than $116,000 in restitution to those that had been defrauded. She mentioned he should spend three years underneath federal supervision after his launch from jail.
Jarrius’ one public assertion on the case — hours after his dad’s responsible plea — apologized to the wronged donors.
“I really like my daddy however I do know there are a whole lot of good individuals which have been harm by his actions,” Jarrius’ mentioned. “All I ever wished to do was make everybody conscious of the necessity for organ donation in order that it’d assist others in want.”
Hours after his father pleaded responsible Thursday to stealing as a lot as $150,000 in donations meant to assist the boy combat a uncommon liver sickness, …
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