Irving Fryar 20 Oct 1996: Wide receiver Irving Fryar #80 of the Philadelphia Eagles is wrapped up by linebacker Zach Thomas of the Miami Dolphins during the Eagles 35-28 win at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons /Allsport

Former NFL receiver Irving Fryar and his mother have been ordered by a New Jersey court to pay $615,600 in restitution to five lending institutions they scammed.

In October, Fryar, 53, was sentenced to five years in prison for the mortgage scam, in which he and his mother applied for multiple loans in a short period of time while using the same property as collateral. His mother, Allene McGhee, was sentenced to three years probation.

During his trial earlier this year, Fryar’s defense claimed he was just a pawn in the scam, according to the Associated Press.

Fryar’s defense claimed he was the victim of a “con artist” who told him to carry out the scheme, a reference to William Barksdale. Barksdale pleaded guilty last year to a conspiracy charge and was the government’s key witness at Fryar’s trial. He is serving a 20-month prison sentence.

Fryar played for four team in a 17-year NFL career stretched from 1984-2000. He racked up 12,785 receiving yards and 84 touchdowns and reached five Pro Bowls.

Fryar had several off-field incidents during his playing career. He missed the 1986 AFC Championship Game with a hand injury he sustained during a violent confrontation with his wife. In 1988 he was arrested on weapons charges.

In 2003, he started a church, New Jerusalem House of God, where he serves as pastor. Here’s a video of him welcoming you to his church.

Fryar could be the first person ever to take the career path of football player to pastor to white-collar criminal.


About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.