Former Georgia Football Coach, ESPN Analyst Jim Donnan Accused In Ponzi Scheme
Former University of Georgia football coach and ex-ESPN college football analyst Jim Donnan has been accused in a Ponzi scheme believed to have made him, his three children and their spouses millions of dollars richer.
According to federal court documents filed last week, Donnan and his wife, Mary, "solicited investments from more than 50 individuals and entities to GLC Limited" — a West Virginia-based company formed in March 2004. Back then, it was known as GLC Enterprises and attracted investments from several big-name sports figures, including former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer, Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer, Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione and Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville.
The Donnans, who themselves invested more than $5.4 million in the company, made commissions ranging from 15-20 percent for any new investments solicited - and allegedly over $14.5 million total.
The court documents state:
"James Donnan is substantially, if not principally, responsible for the initiation and operation of a far-reaching ponzi scheme that defrauded GLC and its investors of approximately $27,752,159."
The part-time motivational speaker reportedly pitched GLC Enterprises to investors as a retail liquidation company specializing in the re-sale of consumer products.
According to court documents, investors sank nearly $82 million dollars into GLC Enterprises, but less than $12 million was spent on inventory and at least $13 million in investor money remains unaccounted for. With dwindling revenues, GLC eventually used money from new investors to pay old investors, which, according to the court documents, constituted a Ponzi scheme.
There seems to be some dispute surrounding whether or not Donnan was actually an officer in the company. According to two separate lawsuits, Donnan identified himself to investors at different times as the Vice President and secretary. Donnan's lawyer Edward Tolley, however, maintains that this is not the case.
GLC Enterprises filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February; the Donnans followed with a filing of their own earlier this month — a move one of the lawsuits refers to as "an eleventh-hour attempt to avoid responsibility for their wrongful, unlawful, and fraudulent acts." Tolley, though, claims his client had no knowledge of any Ponzi scheme.
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