Former Nebraska and Pro Bowl receiver Irving Fryar and his mother were charged with conspiring to use fraudulent home equity loans to steal $690,000, New Jersey acting Attorney General John Hoffman said.
Fryar, 51, now a high school football coach, and his mother, Allene McGhee, 72, were indicted by a Trenton grand jury on charges of conspiracy and theft by deception, Hoffman said in a statement. They allegedly deceived five banks in obtaining loans in December 2009, each of which was secured by McGhee's house.
“This is not a case in which Mr. Fryar and his mother simply omitted or misstated information on loan applications,” Hoffman said. “They engaged in an elaborate criminal scheme that was designed to defraud these banks.”
Fryar was in Omaha Wednesday signing autographs for two hours in conjunction with the grand opening of Menards, located near the intersection of 72nd and L Streets. He declined to comment when a World-Herald reporter asked him about the indictment.
Fryar played 17 seasons in the NFL, from 1984 to 2000, after being selected by the New England Patriots with the first pick in the 1984 draft. He played nine seasons with the Patriots, then three each with the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles before spending two years on the Washington Redskins.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Fryar finished his NFL career with 851 receptions for 12,785 yards and 84 touchdowns.
He ranks among the NFL's top 20 in all three categories.
Only one wide receiver has been selected No. 1 in the NFL draft since Fryar — Keyshawn Johnson in 1996.
Fryar has a 1-4 record in his first season as the head varsity football coach at Robbinsville High School in New Jersey. He's also pastor of the New Jerusalem House of God, which he founded in 2003 in his hometown of Mount Holly.
Fryar and his mother face as many as 10 years in prison if convicted. A call to Fryar at the church wasn't immediately returned.
The indictment was handed up by a state grand jury in Trenton in Mercer County. The case has been assigned to be heard in the courthouse in Mount Holly in Burlington County, according to Hoffman.
World-Herald staff writer Jon Nyatawa contributed to this report.