Jim Donnan: Former Georgia Football Coach Faces Federal Charges for Ponzi Scheme

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistAugust 16, 2012

Courtesy of Chris O'Meara, Associated Press
Courtesy of Chris O'Meara, Associated Press

Jim Donnan, head coach for the Georgia football team from 1996-2000 and winner of four bowl games in five seasons, is facing fraud charges for his connection to a Ponzi scheme, according to a report from Mike Morris of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

[Securities and Exchange Commission] spokesman John Nestor said in a statement that Donnan and business partner Gregory Crabtree of Proctorville, Ohio, conducted the fraud through a West Virginia-based wholesale liquidation company called GLC Limited, which was supposed to be buying leftover merchandise from major retailers and reselling the items.

According to the report, Nestor also said:

Only about $12 million of the $80 million raised from nearly 100 investors was actually used to purchase leftover merchandise, and the remaining funds were used to pay fake returns to earlier investors or stolen for other uses by Donnan and Crabtree.

The press release from the Securities and Exchange Commission states that Donnan was also investing his money in the company:

He touted that he and other prominent college football coaches had successfully and profitably invested in GLC. But by the time the scheme collapsed, Donnan had actually siphoned more than $7 million away from GLC, and Crabtree misappropriated approximately $1.08 million in investor funds.

Donnan's college coaching career came to an end after he was fired from Georgia following the 2000 season. 

Before going to Georgia, Donnan made his name at Marshall, where he won 64 games in six seasons. He also led the program to four Division I-AA Championship Games, winning once in 1992.

After his coaching career ended, Donnan was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009 for compiling a career record of 104-40 at Marshall and Georgia. 

We will keep you updated on the situation as more information becomes available.