Former NFL wide receiver Irving Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, have reportedly been offered a plea deal in connection with charges of mortgage fraud brought against them in October.
According to a report in the Burlington County (NJ) Times, the pair has until Aug. 4 to decide whether they want to accept the plea deal, which would have Fryar serve five years in state prison. In addition, both Fryar and his mother would have to pay full restitution and serve probation in connection with the alleged mortgage scheme.
The pair faces up to 10 years in prison and $150,000 in fines if the case goes to court and they are convicted.
Fryar, who played wide receiver for four National Football League teams between 1984 and 2000, and McGhee pleaded not guilty in January to one count each of second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception.
The attorney general for the state of New Jersey has charged the pair with conspiring to steal nearly $700,000 by deceiving several banks into granting them home equity loans.
Fryar, 51, has subsequently been suspended from his job as a varsity football coach at Robbinsville High School in New Jersey, according to the report. He is also pastor of New Jerusalem House of God, an independent Baptist church he founded in Mount Holly in 2000.
Fryar and his mother are accused of obtaining five loans in a period of six days in 2009, using McGhee's home in Willingboro, N.J., as collateral. They also allegedly used false information to obtain mortgage loans.
‘This is not a case in which Mr. Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications,’ John J. Hoffman, acting attorney general for the state of New Jersey, said in October, when the pair was indicted. ‘This indictment alleges that they engaged in an elaborate criminal scheme that was designed to defraud these banks of hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is disappointing that someone with an illustrious career in professional sports, who now is a minister and coach in the community, is charged with this crime, but he must face justice like anyone else.’
Fryar played wide receiver for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.