- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - In a story May 7 about the trial of former University of Georgia coach Jim Donnan, The Associated Press reported erroneously the hometown of retired ESPN executive Daniel Shoemaker. He is from Huntington, West Virginia, not Huntsville.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Friend says he trusted Georgia coach in investment

Friend says trust in former UGA coach Jim Donnan was a factor in decision to invest in company


Associated Press

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - A friend of Jim Donnan testified Wednesday that his trust in the former University of Georgia football coach and an assurance that he wouldn’t lose his principal were important factors in his decision to invest in a company that dealt in closeout merchandise.

The testimony of Nelson E. Bowers III came during Donnan’s trial in federal court in Athens on charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. Bowers ultimately lost about $1 million when GLC Limited, Inc., crumbled, according to bank records submitted to the court by prosecutors.

A federal indictment against Donnan and Gregory L. Crabtree of Proctorville, says the pair ran a fraudulent investment scheme through GLC, a West Virginia-based company. Prosecutors have said Crabtree ran the day-to-day operations of the business and Donnan used relationships of trust to lure investors into a fraudulent scheme.

Crabtree pleaded guilty last month to a single conspiracy charge and is expected to testify in Donnan’s trial.

Bowers said Donnan telling him about the potential investment carried great weight because he trusted the ex-coach.

“I would say that perked my interest,” Bowers said under questioning by prosecutor Paul McCommon.

But Bowers, who owns nine car dealerships as well as several other businesses, said retail salvage seemed like a good bet to him and he’d spoken to others who got high returns on investments in GLC.

Jurors also heard on Wednesday from Daniel Shoemaker, a retired ESPN executive from Huntington, West Virginia, who initially put Donnan and Crabtree in touch with each other. Crabtree had done construction work and odd jobs for him, and he’d known Donnan from the former coach’s days at Marshall University.

Shoemaker knew Crabtree had an auction business and that Donnan was always looking for projects in his retirement, he testified. He knew Crabtree to be careless in his business transactions and thought Donnan had good business sense, so he thought they might be a good match, Shoemaker testified.

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