Tax records sought for ex-UGA coach

Jim Donnan, others named in Ohio bankruptcy case

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 5:49 AM
Last updated 9:16 AM
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 ATHENS, Ga. -- Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan and his wife, Mary, must turn over income tax returns and other personal financial records in a federal bankruptcy case unfolding in an Ohio federal court.

A federal bankruptcy judge has granted the company's request for the Donnans to turn over the records, including any contracts between the Donnans and GLC Limited, the company in bankruptcy, or GLC owners Gregory and Linda Crabtree.

Even before the judge's order, a lawyer for Donnan said the former coach would honor GLC's request.

"I just plan to fully cooperate and work with all involved so some kind of resolution can be reached as quickly as possible," Donnan said Tuesday, declining further comment.

GLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of Ohio in late February, saying the company owed between $26 million and $29 million.

The list of nearly 600 people and companies owed money includes several Athens-area investors and numerous sports figures, including former Kentucky basketball coach Billy Gillispie, former Alabama basketball player and coach Mark Gottfried, former UGA football player Kendrell Bell and football coaches Barry Switzer, Dennis Franchione and Tommy Tuberville.

Donnan, who still lives in the Athens area, also is listed as one of the creditors in court documents.

But according to the company's motion asking for the ex-coach's documents, the Donnans have knowledge and documentation of "the formation of the Debtor and its various business operations; the financing of the Debtor's business operations" including "matters relating to the amounts invested in Debtor's business by various Investors; the relationship and business dealings among Debtor, the Donnans and various third parties."

The Donnans also have information about the "existence and location of Debtor's assets," according to the motion.

Some investors are scrambling to understand what's going on after the company's unexpected bankruptcy filling.

"There's some things that just don't make sense," said one investor, who asked not to be quoted by name.

Another investor, who also declined to be named, said he never knew the company's owners.

"It was a friend-of-a-friend kind of thing," he said.

According to papers the company filed in connection with the bankruptcy, GLC got about $80 million from nearly 100 investors beginning in 2008.

In 2010, GLC received new investments of about $34.7 million, and paid out $34.2 million to the investors, according to court papers. The same year, the company had sales of about $3.7 million and an operating loss of $2.2 million.

GLC is the parent company of a chain of liquidation stores, Global Liquidation, as well as several other companies including Dan's Sporting Goods, Lailah's Mini Mart and Trustworthy Hardware.

Some of the investors got their money back and more, according to the court papers.

"Since 2008, the Debtor has made payments to many of the Investors, often using, upon information and belief, funds invested by other investors," according to an affidavit filed in the case.

But some of the investors got too much, lawyers for the company say.

"The Debtor intends, among other things to commence actions to recover those excess amounts from those investors and ensure that there is an equality of distribution for similarly situated investors," according to one court document.

Donnan was Georgia's football coach from 1996 through 2000, compiling a 40-19 record in five football seasons. A 2009 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, Donnan came to UGA from Marshall University, where he led the school's football team to a 1-AA national championship.

UGA President Michael Adams fired Donnan, 66, after the 2000 season over the objections of then-athletic director Vince Dooley.

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corgimom 03/16/11 - 07:41 am
Another Ponzi scheme that has

Another Ponzi scheme that has blown up.

When will people ever learn?

tuffenuf4u 03/16/11 - 08:34 am
Corgimom- you took the words

Corgimom- you took the words right out of my mouth. It certainly does sound as if this was a ponzi scheme.

justthefacts 03/16/11 - 09:26 am
Sounds more like a bad

Sounds more like a bad business plan or poor execution of the business plan.

soldout 03/16/11 - 10:05 am
so true corgimom; I guess

so true corgimom; I guess they all learned it from the way social security operates. It seems rich people or famous people never just invest the bonds, stocks, or maybe their own business but end up in something fancey and complex that fails so often. You can do high risk things but best to understand how they work and limit your lost.

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