Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan and an Ohio businessman face an 85-count federal indictment on charges of operating a pyramid or Ponzi scheme.
Donnan of Athens and Gregory Crabtree of Proctorville, Ohio, entered not guilty pleas in Macon Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Charles Weigle.
Weigle set $25,000 unsecured bonds for both men. He ordered Donnan to surrender his passport and restricted his travel to Georgia. Crabtree is allowed to travel to West Virginia and Kentucky. He didn't have a passport to surrender.
Macon attorney Charles Cox has been appointed to represent Crabtree. Cox said he received the appointment shortly before noon Tuesday and that he'd had little time to review the indictment before Crabtree's 3:30 p.m., appearance before Weigle.
Athens attorney Ed Tolley is representing Donnan. He said the federal indictment is the latest development in the controversy surrounding Global Liquidation Center, the business Crabtree and Donnan allegedly operated.
"The case has been going on for about a year and a half," Tolley said. "We've been through bankruptcy proceedings so about two years worth of litigation so far. But it's a very complex matter, and it'll take a while to sort out."
Among other things, the two men are accused of raising about $81 million from 94 people who invested in their business from 2007 to 2010.
Among other things, the indictment alleges Donnan and Crabtreeconspired to commit wire and mail fraud. It also alleges the two were involved in unlawful transportation of interstate securities and that they conspired to launder proceeds from unlawful activities.
The indictment said investors lost more than $22 millon. It also accuses Donnan and Crabtree of using money from later investors to pay off the earlier ones.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore said the case probably will be tried in the federal courthouse in Athens. A trial date hasn't been set.