Deliberations start in ex-NFL’s star’s mortgage fraud case
The jury that heard nearly three weeks of testimony in the mortgage fraud case against former Eagles player Irving Fryar and his mother asked to rehear some of the testimony as it began deliberations Wednesday.
Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert in Mount Holly scheduled the panel to return Thursday to rehear parts of the testimony of the prosecution’s key witness.
Fryar, 52, and his mother, Allene McGhee, 74, are standing trial on charges of conspiracy and theft by deception. They could face 10 years in prison if convicted.
They allegedly bilked seven lending institutions, including six banks, in South Jersey and Philadelphia of $1.2 million between October and December 2009.
In closing statements Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Mark Kurzawa said the two were motivated by “greed and desperation,” and McGhee’s attorney, Mark Fury, said Fryar and McGhee were duped by William Barksdale, whom he called a “convicted felon who lies all the time.”
Barksdale is a former Levittown mortgage broker who is serving a 20-month federal prison sentence after admitting he orchestrated schemes that netted up to $2.5 million from 10 or more banks, and that involved five of his clients.
The foreman said the jurors wanted to rehear Barksdale’s testimony on his role in arranging a refinancing of Fryar’s house in Burlington County in October 2009 after it went into foreclosure.
Barksdale, 48, testified that Fryar approached him. Barksdale suggested having McGhee, a retired school bus driver, obtain a mortgage on Fryar’s house because she had good credit and could use her Willingboro house for collateral.
Lincoln Financial approved her for a mortgage of more than $400,000 after Barksdale made a $100,000 down payment, according to trial testimony. McGhee’s application falsely stated that she earned more than $70,000 as an event coordinator at New Jerusalem House of God, the Mount Holly church Fryar founded.
Two months later, the state alleges, McGhee applied for six more loans from six banks over a few days, using her house as collateral without disclosing all her applications to each of the banks. She obtained $850,000 in home equity lines of credit on a house valued at about $200,000. When the loans went into default, only one bank could acquire her house, and the others wrote off the loans as losses.
Piggybankblog Courtroom Bailiff: “All rise! .The Honorable Judge John Wright has left the Courtroom of Public Opinion!”