Irving Fryar Convicted In Mortgage Fraud – Former NFL Star Defrauded Seven Banks For $1.2 Million

Irving Fryar was convicted for the part he played in a mortgage scam. The former NFL star is now facing a possibility of spending 10 years behind bars.

Following a mere three-week trial, pro-footballer Irving Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, were deemed guilty for their role in a mortgage scam. The duo had managed to strip seven banks to the tune of $1.2 million way back in 2009.

Apparently, 52-year-old Fryar, who was once a successful wide receiver, and his mother submitted incorrect “wage information” on their multiple loan applications, securing loans in the process. Evidently, Fryar’s mother claimed she had earned thousands of dollars a month as an event coordinator for Fryar’s church, reported Associated Press. Assured they would be paid in full, the banks doled out the loans. However, Fryar and his mother only made a few payments and that, too, only on four loans. Surprisingly, the banks merely wrote off the bad loans as losses.

Needless to say, Irving Fryar applied for multiple mortgage loans in quick succession while using the same property as collateral, noted a jury. Now that the duo’s crimes have caught up to them, Fryar’s weak defense is rather hilarious. He claims he was just a victim, duped by a smart “con artist,” into executing the scheme. In Fryar’s defense, multiple people had successfully pulled off such schemes during the time-period, resulting in one of the biggest and most devastating recessions America faced in the recent past.

The con artist that Irving Fryar blamed was William Barksdale, reported Go Sport Times. Barksdale managed to get a significantly reduced sentence by becoming the state’s key witness. Incidentally, he had pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge last year. Barksdale is serving a mere 20-month prison sentence, probably in a minimum security prison, for financial fraud.

Fryar and McGhee could have been sentenced for five and three years, respectively, had they accepted the plea deals extended to them. However, presumably egged on by their lawyers who maintained that the duo were victims of Barksdale, not criminals, Irving Fryar and his mother staunchly refused the bargain plea. Now that they have been convicted, both are facing 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence permissible.

Irving Fryar will now wait for his sentencing, scheduled to take place on October 2. He is currently out on $20,000 bail, while his mother, too, was released “on her own recognizance.” Interestingly, Fryar is now a pastor of a church he had founded a few years ago.

[Image Credit: Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images]