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Prosecutors: Ex-UGA, Marshall football coach operated fraud scheme

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ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -

A prosecutor says former University of Georgia and Marshall University football coach Jim Donnan abused the trust of friends and professional contacts to get them to invest in a fraudulent investment scheme.

Donnan's defense attorney argued May 6 during opening statements in Donnan's federal trial that the former coach was, himself, a victim of the scheme.

A federal indictment last year charged Donnan and Gregory Crabtree with conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors say the pair ran a scheme through GLC Limited, Inc., a West Virginia-based company that dealt in closeout merchandise.

Authorities have said Donnan convinced high-profile college coaches and former players to invest $80 million in the company, much of which was later lost. Donnan has denied intentionally misleading investors.

Crabtree pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge last month.

Donnan was the head football coach at Marshall University from 1990 through 1995, where he had a 64-21 overall record, including a NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 1992 and three national runners-up finishes. He moved on to Georgia (1996 through 2000) where he had a 40-19 mark including four bowl victories. In 2009, Donnan was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

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