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Former U of I bands director pleads guilty

Former U of I bands director pleads guilty

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 1:15 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 2:45 a.m. CST

URBANA (AP) – Former director of bands at the University of Illinois Robert Rumbelow pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing musical instruments from the school and was sentenced to a form of probation.

Rumbelow entered his plea to one count of felony theft of instruments worth more than $10,000 in Champaign County Circuit Court, according to The News-Gazette. He was sentenced to 2 years of conditional discharge.

Rumbelow, through an attorney, declined comment outside court Tuesday.

The 48-year-old Rumbelow stole more than 70 instruments worth tens of thousands of dollars in 2011 and 2012, sold them to other schools through eBay and elsewhere, and put the money in a personal bank account, according to prosecutors and police.

Rumbelow initially claimed he sold them to help finance work on a potential new building for his department on campus. His attorney at the time called him an absent-minded professor who had good intentions.

Before Rumbelow was charged in September, he resigned from the university and repaid it $87,600 for the instruments.

The university hired Rumbelow in 2010 to oversee all of its bands and musical ensembles. His salary was $140,000 a year.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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