Lawrence McGrew, the former NFL linebacker who was once the victim of identity theft, died on April 2. Cause of death was not released. He was 46.
The real Lawrence McGrew played football at Contra Costa College and the University of Southern California, and started in two Rose Bowls. During the second round of the 1980 draft, he was selected by the New England Patriots as an outside linebacker.
McGrew spent the next 11 years in the NFL, playing for the Patriots, the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants. He helped New England reach the Super Bowl in 1986 and earned a championship ring when New York beat Buffalo in the 1991 Super Bowl.
Last summer, a Colorado thief named Frederick William McGrew III illegally adopted Lawrence’s name and career statistics to get a job as an assistant football coach at Gavilan College in California. The impostor was fired five weeks later and arrested. He told police he was Lawrence’s nephew and repeated the claim at his initial court appearance, but it was all a lie.
In December, Frederick McGrew was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 160 hours of community service for stealing Lawrence’s identity and for fraudulently using an Ohio woman’s Social Security number.