Former National Football League (NFL) star Irving Fryar is reportedly scheduled to appear in New Jersey state court later this month, when he is expected to plead guilty to taking part in a mortgage fraud scheme with his mother.
As reported in June, the state attorney general's office, which is prosecuting the case, has offered Fryar a plea deal under which he will serve a five-year sentence. Fryar's mother, Allene McGhee, has been offered a three-year prison sentence in connection with charges of mortgage fraud brought against the pair in October. In addition, both must pay full restitution and serve probation.
Originally, the pair was to appear in court on Aug. 4 to decide whether they want to accept the plea deal. However, state Superior Court Judge James Palmer Jr. extended the plea cutoff date to Aug. 21, according to a report on nola.com.
Should the pair decide not to accept the plea deal, they could each face up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.
Fryar, who played wide receiver for four NFL teams between 1984 and 2000, and McGhee pleaded not guilty in January to one count each of second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception.
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, has reportedly since been suspended from his job as a varsity football coach at Robbinsville High School in New Jersey. He is also pastor of New Jerusalem House of God, an independent Baptist church he founded in Mount Holly in 2000.
Fryar 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.
‘This is not a case in which Mr. Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications,’ John J. Hoffman, acting attorney general for the state of New Jersey, said in October, when the pair was indicted. ‘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.’
Fryar played wide receiver for the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins.