Prosecution rests in Donnan trial

The prosecution concluded its case shortly before noon Tuesday in the fraud trial of former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan.

Defense lawyer Ed Tolley said he and co-counsel Jerome Frolich would bring their first witness at 1 p.m. in U.S. District court in Athens.

Donnan is charged with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering. Prosecutors say he deliberately enticed investors to buy into a business that supposedly bought and sold salvaged goods, but in reality was using newer investors’ money to pay later ones ‑ a Ponzi scheme.

Donnan’s defense is that he believed the business was legitimate when he offered others the chance to invest, and that he also was deceived by his partner in West Virginia, Greg Crabtree.

Crabtree entered into a plea agreement with government prosecutors in April and testified earlier in Donnan’s trial. He told the jury that Donnan knew he was using new investor money to pay previous investors, including many prominent Athenians and well-known college football and basketball coaches.

One of the last witnesses to testify Tuesday was Gilbert Milner, an Athens salvage expert who testified that GLC was sitting on a lot of valuable property when it went under.

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