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Jim Donnan Facing Federal Charges In $80 Million Ponzi Scheme

Former University of Georgia football head football coach Jim Donnan is facing federal charges of fraud for his part in a Ponzi scheme estimated at $80 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC announced the charges against Donnan and his business partner Gregory Crabtree on Thursday.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the scheme, according to the SEC (not that one), was conducted through a West Virginia liquidation company that claimed to it was buying leftover merchandise from major retailers and re-selling it:

Donnan and Crabtree "promised investors exorbitant rates of return ranging from 50 to 380 percent," [SEC spokesman John] Nestor said. "However, 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."

Donnan was head coach at Georgia from 1996 to 2000 after five season as the head coach at Marshall. He went 40-19 as the Bulldogs' head coach and was the first head coach in UGA history to coach the team to four consecutive bowl victories.

For a look at the SEC's official public statement regarding the charges against Donnan and Crabtree, click here.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.