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Coaches say they lost money invested with Donnan
Question of the Day
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - College coaches testified Monday that they thought they had a guaranteed investment but ended up losing money in what prosecutors said was a fraudulent scheme run by former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan.
North Carolina State University basketball coach Mark Gottfried, Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione, University of Cincinnati football coach Tommy Tuberville and former college basketball coach Billy Gillispie testified in Donnan’s trial on federal charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. They said they lost large sums of money after investing in West Virginia-based GLC Limited, according to media reports.
“I think the most important thing was I had known Jim for a long time and trusted him,” he said. “If he was invested in it and doing well, it gave me confidence.”
Donnan faces a potentially lengthy prison term if convicted. His partner, Gregory Crabtree, pleaded guilty to a single conspiracy charge last month and faces up to five years in prison.
“It wasn’t a forcible sell, like ‘You’ve gotta put money in this,’” said Tuberville, who said he’s known Donnan for about 20 to 25 years. Donnan told him, “‘Don’t take my word for it, call Dennis Franchione, and feel him out because he’s been in it for a while.’ And that’s what I did,” Tuberville testified.
The amount Tuberville lost wasn’t made clear in court.
“The most important thing to me was you’re not going to lose any money,” Gillispie said.
Like other investors, Gillispie initially received a high payout, but ended up losing a much greater sum when the company crumbled.
A federal indictment against Donnan and Crabtree, of Proctorville, Ohio, says the pair ran the scheme from September 2007 to December 2010 through GLC, a company that dealt in wholesale and closeout merchandise. Prosecutors say the company raised more than $80 million from 94 investors, and nearly $23 million was lost.
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