Ex-Eagles player Fryar and mother charged in mortgage scheme

Irving Fryar , whose attorney entered a not-guilty plea, plans to post bail.
Irving Fryar , whose attorney entered a not-guilty plea, plans to post bail.
Posted: January 23, 2014

MOUNT HOLLY A former wide receiver for the Eagles and his mother were arraigned Tuesday on charges that they conspired to defraud banks in a $690,000 mortgage scheme.

Irving Fryar, 51, a former Pro Bowl athlete who also played for the NFL's New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins, and his mother, Allene McGhee, 72, of Willingboro, had their attorneys enter not-guilty pleas for them when they appeared briefly before Superior Court Judge James Palmer Jr.

Fryar and McGhee have been indicted on charges of conspiracy and theft by deception in connection with a "sophisticated" mortgage scam in which they fraudulently obtained five home-equity loans over a six-day period, according to the state Attorney General's Office.

Fryar, of Springfield Township, Burlington County, retired from football in 2001 and is now the founder and minister at the New Jerusalem House of God in Mount Holly and the head coach of the Robbinsville High School varsity football team in Mercer County.

Neither he nor his lawyer, Michael Gilberti of Little Silver, N.J., could be reached for comment. His church's website says he grew up in Mount Holly and graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School before attending the University of Nebraska and South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary.

McGhee and her attorney, Mark Fury of Mount Holly, also could not be reached.

The judge set Fryar's bail at $20,000, and Fryar said he would post bond, according to Peter Aseltine, spokesman for the attorney general. McGhee was permitted to be released without bail. Deputy Attorney General Mark Kurzawa represented the state at the hearing.

The indictment says McGhee obtained the loans between Dec. 16 and 21, 2009, using her Willingboro home as collateral, and fraudulently claimed she earned "thousands of dollars each month as an event coordinator for Fryar's church."

The two deceived the banks, the indictment said, by quickly closing on each of the five loans without disclosing the others. This caused each bank to believe that it held the first lien on the house and that it would be covered by any default.

"This is not a case in which Mr. Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications," acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said in a statement when the indictment was handed down.

Fryar allegedly received and may have spent more than $200,000 of the money. Four of the banks received only "a few payments" and "eventually wrote the loans off as losses," the indictment says.

The five banks defrauded are Susquehanna Bank, the Bank, Cornerstone Bank, Sun Bank, and Beneficial Bank, the indictment says.

Four of the five loans were closed upon on Dec. 21, 2009. Fryar and McGhee are also charged with providing false wage information to obtain two other mortgages, from Lincoln Mortgage Co., two months earlier. One loan was secured by the Willingboro home and the other by the Springfield house, which is owned by McGhee and where Fryar lives.

The offenses are second-degree crimes that carry five to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.


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