Ingram misses third sentencing hearing; expected to turn himself in Sept. 15

Updated: September 5, 2008, 5:57 PM ET
Associated Press

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. -- An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Mark Ingram, a star on the New York Giants' 1991 Super Bowl-winning team who failed for a third time to appear in federal court for sentencing on a money laundering and bank fraud conviction.

U.S. District Court Judge Denis Hurley said the warrant won't be enforced until Sept. 15, one day before Ingram's rescheduled court appearance. Ingram's attorney assured the judge his client would surrender to U.S. marshals at the Long Island courthouse on the eve of his next court date. He is expected to get 7 to 9 years in prison.

Attorney Raymond Colon said Ingram contacted him early Friday morning, saying his car had broken down on a Pennsylvania highway as he was driving from his home in Flint, Mich., to Long Island. Two previous sentencing hearings were postponed after Ingram went to emergency rooms complaining of illnesses that were later unfounded, Hurley noted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Donohue requested that an arrest warrant be issued after Ingram's latest absence.

"Mr. Ingram feels these court appearances are optional," Donohue told the judge.

The 42-year-old Ingram has spent time in jail for various crimes since his 1996 retirement from the NFL. He pleaded guilty in November 2005 to laundering money he believed to be proceeds from narcotics deals, as well as bank fraud for cashing counterfeit checks.

Federal prosecutors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and in New York said Ingram cashed more than $300,000 in phony checks and laundered another $200,000. The laundered drug money actually came from undercover detectives running a sting operation, prosecutors said.

Although he pleaded guilty nearly three years ago, prosecutors say he has sought to revoke the plea and has fired three previous court-appointed attorneys, and personally made court filings claiming he should not be sent to prison.

Prosecutors referred to a court filing from Ingram this past May as "rambling, confusing, outlandish and largely incoherent." Among his contentions were that he is immune from prosecution because he has diplomatic status as a head of state.

A first-round draft pick from Michigan State by the Giants in 1987, Ingram is best remembered for his Super Bowl stardom when he caught a pass from Jeff Hostetler and eluded five tackles before hopping on one leg for a first down to keep the Giants' hopes alive. They went on to win the second of their three Super Bowl titles, beating the Buffalo Bills 20-19.

Ingram also played for the Miami Dolphins, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles.

In 2001, he was sentenced to six months in federal prison after he was caught with $3,290 in counterfeit cash. He served a year in jail in 2004 after pleading guilty to stealing a credit card from a Flint golf course. A felony charge of breaking and entering to steal a purse from a car in a Michigan garage was dismissed because of lack of evidence.

His son, Mark Ingram Jr., is a freshman running back at the University of Alabama.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press