A New Jersey Superior Court judge on Monday ordered former NFL star Irving Fryar and his mother to pay $615,600 in restitution to five lending institutions, two months after they were convicted in a $1.2 million scheme devised by their mortgage broker.
Fryar, a wide receiver who played for the Eagles and three other teams during his 17-year career, and Allene McGhee, a retired school bus driver, will have to contribute in monthly installments.
Fryar, 53, is serving a five-year prison term at Jones Farm, a minimum security facility in Trenton. He will pay $200 a month under a consent agreement between the Attorney General's Office and his defense team. That amount can be increased when he is released if he earns an income that would support larger payments, Judge Jeanne T. Covert said during a hearing in Mount Holly.
In a brief exchange with the judge, Fryar, now a pastor, told Covert that he was worried about making the payments because he is paying $500 a month in back taxes on his Springfield, Burlington County, house. His lawyer, Michael Gilberti, said the $500 is being paid from a settlement he reached after his divorce.
"Everyone has to compete to get their money back," Covert said, saying the municipality and the court order would be taken into consideration as payments are structured.
McGhee, 74, who was given three years' probation, will have to pay $300 a month.
"It's disappointing, but we are grateful she will not have to spend time in jail," Mark Fury, her lawyer, said afterward. McGhee had no comment.
In August, a jury convicted Fryar and McGhee of conspiracy and theft by deception for their roles in fraudulently obtaining multiple loans and home equity lines of credit from seven South Jersey and Philadelphia banks in late 2009 and early 2010. Five of the banks sought restitution.
William Barksdale, a former Levittown mortgage broker who orchestrated the scam, had testified against the two and was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison. He had been ordered to repay $1.8 million because he defrauded 10 or more banks in several conspiracies beyond the one involving Fryar and McGhee. According to his testimony, he advised Fryar to get his mother to apply for the loans because she had good credit, and because Fryar was in debt and was losing his house in foreclosure.
John Nicodema, a deputy attorney general who prosecuted the case with Deputy Attorney General Mark Kurzawa, said that Fryar's restitution payments would be reevaluated when he is released.
Gilberti said that he had submitted an application for Fryar to be enrolled in an Intensive Supervision Program, which would give him early release date and allow him to be monitored while at home. Gilberti also said he has appealed Fryar's verdict.