Former NFL Player Irving Fryar and Mom Convicted of Bank Fraud

Former Philadelphia wide receiver Irving Fryar and his 74-year-old mother have been convicted of bank fraud by a New Jersey jury and are facing five to 10 years in a state prison as well as fines up to $150,000.

However, attorneys for Fryar and his mother have filed a motion to have the verdict overturned, alleging prosecutorial misconduct and lack of evidence. Of the prosecutorial misconduct allegation, the motion states that the prosecution “made inflammatory statements saying the defendants should go to jail” and that the jury “must” find them guilty.

Fryar’s attorneys cited precedence where courts have ruled prosecutors should show restraint and not voice their personal opinions because doing so could unfairly prejudice jurors.

In addition, the motion states that the prosecution showed charts with false financial information that was contrary to the evidence during closing arguments.

Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, were convicted of second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception connected to six home equity loans that McGhee took out on her home in Willingboro, NJ.

According to court documents, McGhee applied for five home equity loans totaling $840,000 within a six-day period, allegedly so that each bank would be unaware of any other loans on the property. She also took out a $414,000 loan on her son’s Springfield, NJ, home, which is owned in her name. Fryar allegedly received $200,000 of the loaned funds.

Prosecutors also alleged that McGhee falsified her wage and employment information on the loan applications.

The defense contends that Fryar and McGhee were the victims of a scam run by William Barksdale, a former mortgage broker who is currently serving time in federal prison for defrauding banks out of more than $2 million. Barksdale, who owns the mortgage on McGhee’s home, testified at trial that McGhee was unaware of the scheme and continued to make mortgage payments until she lost her home to foreclosure.

Fryar’s defense attorney said that his client had no knowledge of the scheme and that bank witnesses testified that he was never at any of the loan closings. Barksdale and Fryar had prior business ventures flipping houses, and Fryar was unaware that the money Barksdale paid him came from the loans, not from the sale of their investment property.

The Cogdell Law Firm is a boutique law firm focusing on large, complex business and criminal financial-related litigation, including white collar criminal defense, securities fraud, health care fraud investigation, criminal appeals and state criminal defense. When results matter most, contact Dan Cogdell at (713) 426-2244 or dan@cogdell-law.com.

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