Irving Fryar, the first overall pick in the 1984 NFL Draft, was sentenced to five years in prison in a New Jersey courtroom yesterday for a mortgage scam he ran about five years ago. Fryar’s mother Allene McGhee, 74, was also sentenced to three years’ probation.

Fryar and McGhee rejected plea deals and faced up to ten years in jail for using the same property as collateral in applying for a series of mortgage loans. William Barksdale, Fryar’s partner in the scheme and the government’s key witness in the case, claimed Fryar ran the scheme to get money to pay back some debts. Fryar’s defense claimed Barksdale, who is currently serving a 20-month sentence, was a con-artist who victimized Fryar and McGhee. McGhee lost her house to foreclosure after the scam collapsed.

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Fryar played for 17 seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver with Washington, the Patriots, the Dolphins, and the Eagles. He made five pro bowls, four of which came after his 30th birthday. He was the first wide receiver to be drafted first overall. Fryar has served as a pastor at a local church that he founded since 2003.

Photo via AP

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