Participant in ex-NFL player's mortgage scam sentenced

by Ryan Smith24 Feb 2014
A real estate consultant has been sentenced to 20 months in prison after prosecutors say he helped five people – including a former NFL player – commit mortgage fraud.

William Barksdale, of Burlington, N.J., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. According to prosecutors, as the owner of Barksdale Business Group he engineered a plot to obtain multiple home equity lines of credit on a single property, for more than that property was worth.

Among those Barksdale worked with was ex-NFL player Irving Fryar, 51, and Fryar’s 80-year-old mother, Allene McGhee, who have also been charged with mortgage fraud. Prosecutors say they submitted fraudulent information to lenders in order to get five loans on McGhee’s home within a six-day period.

Prosecutors allege that Fryar received or spent more than $200,000 of the loan money they say he gained from the fraudulent mortgages, but Fryar’s attorneys maintain that he and his mother were the victims of Barksdale’s mortgage scam.

Prosecutors, however, maintain that Fryar, Irving and others were willing participants in Barksdale’s scam, and paid Barksdale out of the proceeds of the fraudulent loans. The scheme caused more than $1 million in losses, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.