Former NFL player pleads not guilty to mortgage fraud

by Ryan Smith21 Jan 2014
A former NFL player and his mother have pleaded not guilty to participating in a $690,000 mortgage scam.

Prosecutors say that Irving Fryar, 51, and his 80-year-old mother, Allene McGhee, submitted fraudulent information to lenders in order to get five loans on McGhee’s home within a six-day period, according to the New York Daily News.

Fryar, who is currently the pastor of a church he founded in New Jersey, was a wide receiver who played for four NFL teams between 1984 and 2000. He also served as a high school football coach until his indictment last year.

Prosecutors allege that Fryar received or spent more than $200,000 of the loan money they say he gained from the fraudulent mortgages, but Fryar’s attorneys say he and his mother were the victims of a mortgage scam rather than its architects, the Daily News reported.

Mark Fury, attorney for McGhee, said Fryar and McGhee were implicated by a man named William Barksdale, who pleaded guilty in 2011 to wire fraud. As part of the plea deal, Barksdale agreed to cooperate with authorities. Fury said that Barksdale was untruthful when he implicated Fryar and McGhee, according to the Daily News.

“The feds leaned on this person to find a name or two or three or 10,” Fury said.

Fryar has rejected a plea deal that would have landed him in prison for five years. McGhee has rejected a similar deal that called for three years in prison, the Daily News reported.