Irving Fryar, who played wide receiver for four National Football League teams between 1984 and 2000, and his mother, Allene McGhee, have been indicted on charges of mortgage fraud.
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, currently works as a varsity football coach at Robbinsville High School in New Jersey and is also pastor of New Jerusalem House of God, an independent Baptist church he founded in Mount Holly in 2000.
He 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. Each faces one count of second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception.
‘This is not a case in which Mr. Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications,’ says John J. Hoffman, acting attorney general for the state of New Jersey, in a release. ‘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.’
The case was reportedly referred to the state attorney general's office by the FBI.
‘We allege that Irving Fryar and Allene McGhee pulled off a sophisticated mortgage fraud scam resulting in six-figure losses to the lending banks,’ says Elie Honig, director of the state's division of criminal justice. ‘Mortgage fraud is a serious crime that ultimately costs every hardworking homeowner in the form of higher loan rates. Through prosecutions such as this one, we are working to protect lenders and consumers, to promote a secure and strong economy.’
According to a report on NJ.com, Fryar has been suspended without pay from his duties as varsity football coach at Robbinsville High School.
If convicted, Fryar faces five to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
Fryar played wide receiver for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.
For more, click here.