Ex-NFL player sentenced for role in mortgage fraud

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Authorities say a former NFL player has been sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison and two years of supervised release for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy.

U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins says 43-year-old Jimmy Hitchcock was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in June 2013 to mortgage fraud conspiracy, bank bribery conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

Court documents say Hitchcock engaged in a scheme that created bogus ''official checks'' that could make it look like buyers had made down payments when they actually hadn't. Those documents also say Hitchcock created other false documents to support the transactions and bribed a bank insider to provide bogus verifications of deposit to support the transactions.

Hitchcock played for three teams in eight NFL seasons, including the Carolina Panthers.