Ex-NFL player sentenced to prison for theft from charities

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.

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Rucker's attorney says Rucker's gambling addiction was related to football-related brain injuries that caused a loss of impulse control.