For some one who started this thread by throwing stones at the business practices of a man you've never done business with and only know through the hearsay of a convict, you sure seem to be taking a holier-than-thou attitude.
If I understand things as you have presented them correctly:
Your friend Ricky the convict is an honest man, and
Russell the businessman who has not been in trouble with the law is not, and
We should believe these "facts and first hand knowledge" about Robert because...
Ricky the honest convict told you so and you believe him because your wife worked for their dad once?
I was born in the morning...but not THIS morning!