Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan is expected to face federal fraud charges in court this week for his involvement in an alleged Ponzi scheme.
Donnan, who coached the Bulldogs from 1996-2000, was
indicted on 85 criminal counts of mail and wire fraud last year.
He and Ohio businessman Gregory Crabtree were accused of conspiring to scam investors, many of who are Athens residents or prominent sports figures, out of $80 million, the Athens Banner-Herald reported. Crabtree pleaded guilty last month to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
Donnan's trial is expected to begin Tuesday in federal court. He has already pleaded not guilty, saying he did not intentionally mislead investors.
Prosecutors allege Donnan and Crabtree operated a scheme through a closeout-merchandise company called GLC Limited, which used money from new investors to pay bills and some investors.
The Athens newspaper reported Donnan made more than $8 million from his investments, but investors lost about $23 million.
Donnan was the company’s investment recruiter. Among the investors were well-known football coaches Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech), Tommy Tuberville (Cincinnati) and Barry Switzer (former coach of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys). This SI.com report said one former player of Donnan’s invested $800,000. Donnan reportedly promised investors would earn 50 to 200 percent on their investments.
The indictment said investors were not given much information on the company, nor updated on financial problems GLC was having.
GLC filed for bankruptcy in 2011, as did Donnan.