There’s a very bizarre story coming out of Ohio this week as former Georgia coach Jim Donnan has been accused of making millions of dollars off a Ponzi scheme stemming from a company by the name of GLC Ltd. (known as GLC Enterprises upon its foundation in 2004).
Court documents obtained by ESPN state that Donnan and his wife “solicited investments from more than 50 individuals and entities to GLC”, which Donnan reportedly “pitched” as a retail liquidation company and a re-seller of consumer products. In all, Donnan and his family — including Donnan’s children and their spouses — reportedly made roughly $14.5 million from GLC in the form of several “fraudulent transfers” to “James and Mary Donnan or their immediate family members.”
The company, however, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an Ohio federal court in February. Donnan and his wife then filed for bankruptcy earlier this month. The current operators of GLC filed a lawsuit against Donnan’s children and their spouses Thursday (Donnan’s lawyer, Edward Tolley, claims a suit against Donnan and his wife would be a direct violation of federal bankruptcy law).
Donnan’s role in GLC is currently being disputed in the suit. Tolley confirms that Donnan was an investor of over $5 million in GLC, but denies that his client was ever an officer in the company. Tolley also denies that Donnan knew he was involved in a Ponzi scheme.
Surprisingly, a few high-profile coaches were also mentioned as investors in GLC — Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer, Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, Texas State coach Dennis Franchione and Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville.
According to the ESPN report, “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.”
Donnan, who is an ex-ESPN analyst, also coached under Switzer at Oklahoma and was the head coach of Marshall from 1990-95 before moving on to Georgia.