ATHENS, Ga. — Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan has agreed to a proposed bankruptcy settlement with a West Virginia company and investors who say he owes them $40 million lost in a Ponzi scheme, according to documents filed in federal court.
The deal would require Donnan to repay $7.35 million to retail liquidation company GLC Limited, which says it’s owed more than $13 million by the ex-coach. Donnan would also agree to repay 80 percent of the losses of investors he recruited for GLC. Investors had filed claims saying Donnan owed them about $27 million.
A federal judge in Ohio, where GLC is being restructured in bankruptcy court, signed off on the settlement Wednesday.
The agreement still needs approval of a judge in Georgia, where Donnan and his wife filed for Chapter 11 protection last July. A hearing is scheduled for July 19 in Athens.
Donnan served as UGA’s football coach from 1996 to 2000 and also has worked as an ESPN analyst. He was a major and early investor in GLC Limited, which would buy appliances and furniture for resale and promised investors payouts of 50 percent to 70 percent interest annually.
The company says Donnan not only profited from money he put into GLC but also charged commissions of up to 20 percent for recruiting fellow college coaches and others to invest money in the firm.
Unable to keep pace with the promised payouts, GLC filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011, and Donnan soon did likewise.
In court filings, GLC’s owners accused Donnan of playing an active role in the creation and maintenance of the Ponzi scheme that drove the company into bankruptcy. Donnan has insisted he was not a part of any scheme. He has not been charged with any criminal wrongdoing.