Burlington County, NJ Law Blog

Friday, September 4, 2015

Former NFL Star & Elderly Mother Convicted in New Jersey of Complex Mortgage Fraud Scam

Have there been any high-profile criminal convictions in New Jersey lately?

Following a three-week trial in Burlington, New Jersey, former NFL star Irving Fryar and his elderly mother were found guilty of second-degree theft and conspiracy charges stemming from a six-year home equity loan scam perpetrated by the team, involving the mother’s home. According to evidence presented at trial, the mother applied for six separate home equity loans on the same property over a six-day period, ensuring lending institutions would not be aware of the simultaneous applications. In total, the amount recovered by the defendants totaled nearly $840,000.

Fryar also applied for and received nearly $414,000 in mortgage funds secured by his home, which was actually owned by his mother. According to accounting documents, at least $200,000 of this amount was spent or has not been recovered.

In their defense, counsel for both defendants asserted that a lender/broker was actually behind the scam and masterminded the fraudulent transactions. Moreover, the defendants asserted that they were not aware that their activities were fraudulent, and they were acting solely at the direction of the alleged ringleader.

In addition to the loan scam evidence, the court heard testimony involving falsified employment and income records that were used  to qualify for the loans.

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 2, 2015, at which point each defendant could face up to 10 years in prison. Fines associated with mortgage fraud can run as high as $150,000.

In a statement by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, “This verdict ensures that Mr. Fryar and his mother will face substantial prison time. Fryar had an illustrious career in professional football and became the pastor of a church, but those things don't mitigate the fact that he and his mother engaged in an elaborate criminal scheme to defraud seven banks of more than one million dollars.”

If you or a loved one presently face charges involving a financial or other crime and need to consult with a reputable criminal defense attorney about your legal options, please do not hesitate to contact Sitzler & Sitzler. Serving clients in Burlington County and all other counties in South Jersey, we can be reached at 609-267-1101.

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