NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Former NFL player Irving Fryar and his mother were indicted by a New Jersey grand jury Wednesday on charges they conspired to steal more than $690,000 through a mortgage scam.
In announcing the indictment, prosecutors said Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, engaged in a "sophisticated mortgage fraud scam" by allegedly having McGhee submit false information to obtain five loans on her home within a six-day period. The two were indicted on counts of conspiracy and theft by deception.
The 51-year-old Fryar, of Springfield, N.J., is pastor of a church he founded and the head coach of the Robbinsville High School football team. His 72-year-old mother lives in Willingboro. The former wide receiver played for four NFL teams between 1984 and 2000, including the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.
"It's 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," Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said.
Authorities said Fryar and McGhee provided wage information on her loan applications, falsely claiming she earned thousands of dollars a month as an event coordinator for Fryar's church. Fryar himself allegedly received or spent more than $200,000 of the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds, they said.
Fryar and McGhee also allegedly made just a few payments on four of the loans, and those banks eventually wrote the loans off as losses, authorities said.
"This is not a case in which Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications," Hoffman said. "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 wasn't clear Wednesday whether the pair have attorneys. The Associated Press left messages for Fryar at the church and school. A spokeswoman for a Red Bank-based law firm that once represented Fryar said she did not know if the firm was handling this case. A phone number for McGhee could not be found.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
The federal jury weighing a life or death sentence for convicted killer John McCluskey has announced it couldn't reach a decision.
New details about the two New Mexico men arrested Tuesday for the murder of a Texas woman.
Should a doctor be able to help a patient end his or her life? It's a controversial question that has been debated across the U.S. and on Wednesday, it was New Mexico's turn.
Investigators called it one of the worst animal cruelty cases they've seen. Now, more than a month after dozens of animals were seized from a property in San Miguel County, the owners are facing jail time.
The Office of the Medical Investigator identified the two victims in Sunday's plane crash which happened just south of the airport.
Gov. Susana Martinez is ordering that flags be flown at half-staff on Thursday to honor a Sandoval County sheriff's sergeant who died after being struck by a vehicle during a snow storm.