Lockhart told US District Judge Jorge Solis he “stepped out of character” and that he wasn’t “brought up to do anything like that.”
A federal prosecutor asked that Lockhart be sentenced to five years, but Lockhart’s lawyer Jay Ethington asked the judge to allow him to remain under home confinement for an additional two years.
Lockhart has been on home confinement for 11 months so far for violating the terms of his release from custody. He was arrested in 2009.
The 51-year-old pleaded guilty in 2011 under an agreement that allowed a sentence of up to 10 years. Ten people have been convicted in the case, and two key players were sentenced to prison in October.
The fraud involved using straw buyers to get inflated mortgages. A straw buyer is a person who acquires goods or services for someone who is unable or unwilling to purchase it themselves. The people involved set up companies that traded on the Cowboy names, including America’s Team Mortgage and Cowboy Realty.
Ethington asked for a lenient sentence, saying that Lockhart suffered serious brain damage during his football career. He said Boston University’s medical school has already asked Lockhart to donate his brain after hsis death because of his history of concussions.
Ethington also said after the hearing that “Mean Gene, the hitting machine” may have received a long sentence because of his fame.
“I think it hurt the entire case,” Ethington said. “He’s a trophy.”