ATHENS, Ga. — Lawyers for Jim Donnan and for the U.S. government painted two sharply different portraits of him in the first day of the former University of Georgia football coach’s trial on criminal charges of wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.
As portrayed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul McCommon in his opening statement to the jury Tuesday afternoon in federal court, Donnan is a manipulative crook who betrayed trusted friends, cheating them out of millions of dollars as he convinced them to invest in GLC Ltd., a company that wasn’t what Donnan portrayed it to be.
“He had his hands all over GLC and he controlled the money,” McCommon said.
But Donnan himself was a victim of GLC and of Donnan’s partner in the company, Gregory Crabtree, according to defense lawyer Ed Tolley.
Donnan, 69, was worth about $7 million when a West Virginia acquaintance introduced him to Crabtree in 2007, but now he’s lost it all as a result of his association with GLC and Crabtree, Tolley told jurors.
“You will be asked to decide if Jim Donnan is a crook who acted with full knowledge of what Gregory Crabtree was doing, or if he was the first and last vicitm of GLC,” Tolley told the nine women and five men seated in the jury box.
Tolley summarized Donnan’s life history as a successful coach, athlete and analyst.
Crabtree pleaded guilty in the case in April and will testify in Donnan’s trial.
WINSTON UPDATE: Heisman winner Jameis Winston appeared to pause to avoid a deputy before walking out of a store without paying for crab legs and crawfish.
That’s according to an incident report prepared by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, which issued a civil citation to the Florida State quarterback and relief pitcher last week after the theft.
The report details what witnesses and video camera at the Publix supermarket saw the night Winston walked out of the store with three pounds of steamed crab legs and a pound of crawfish. Left unclear was whether Winston also stole butter, or just put it in a bin of sale items before he left the store.
KENTUCKY: Extended the contract of head coach Mark Stoops through the 2018 season.
The new agreement extends the current term from Dec. 31, 2017, to June 30, 2019.