Ex-ESPN Analyst, Georgia Coach Donnan Involved in Ponzi Scheme?

| by Alex Groberman

Former ESPN college football analyst and University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan is being accused of serious involvement in a very wide-reaching Ponzi scheme.

According to federal court documents filed last Thursday and Friday against West Virginia-based GLC Ltd., Donnan is accused of makings upwards of millions of dollars from a Ponzi scheme that benefited and concerned not only himself, but also his wife and children.

As per the court paperwork, GLC Enterprises was formed in 2004 and was a highly sought-after investment opportunity among many central figures in the sports world. The more prominent, well-known investors were ex-Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, Texas State football coach Dennis Franchione and Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville.

Donnan and his wife reportedly petitioned for investments from more than 50 people and organizations for GLC, and then garnered anywhere from a 15-20 percent commission for their efforts.

"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 court documents noted.

Donnan and his family allegedly sunk more than $5.4 million into GLC throughout the course of the organization’s run. While that total seems hefty, it’s worth noting that other investors put forth approximately $82 million into the company – money that was used in an extremely questionable manner throughout.

Court documents show that less than $12 million was spent on inventory over the course of the group’s run, and that around $13 million in investor money remains unaccounted for in the financial recordings. As returns began to diminish, GLC opted to use money from new investors to pay back old investors – thus creating the Ponzi scheme.

Complicating matters further is Donnan’s role in the operation. Although Donnan reportedly signed applications for GLC bank accounts and checks on behalf of the group, and allegedly identified himself as an officer to potential investors, his attorney insists that the latter assertion is untrue.

Donnan and his family made over $14.5 million from GLC, court records indicate.

Furthermore, GLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, Ohio federal court documents show.

Donnan coached Georgia from 1996 to 2000 after a successful stint at then-Division-I-AA Marshall.