Top Ad
I DIG Radio
www.idigradio.com
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
www.idigstyle.com
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

Lawyer sentenced for scamming Barkley, others

Written by 
Published in Basketball
Tuesday, 16 July 2019 16:38

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A lawyer convicted of swindling NBA star Charles Barkley and using the name of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to bolster an investment scam was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre also ordered Donald Watkins to pay about $14 million in restitution.

Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 17-plus years for Watkins and 6-plus years for his son, Donald Watkins Jr. Both were convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges earlier this year. The two men stole more than $15 million from investors and a bank, prosecutors said.

Bowdre said she took the elder man's age, 70, into consideration in imposing a lighter sentence, but the term was stiffer than the home confinement requested by Watkins. She then began a sentencing hearing for the son.

During the pair's trial earlier this year, witnesses including Barkley testified about losing money in an investment scheme run by the elder Watkins.

Barkley, who grew up near Birmingham and now works as a television analyst, described himself as a friend of the elder Watkins, who has split time living in both Alabama and Atlanta.

Barkley lost more than $6 million in investments and loans, prosecutors said, and so did other professional athletes including former NFL players Takeo Spikes and Bryan Thomas and former NBA star Damon Stoudamire.

Stoudamire's wife, Natasha Taylor-Stoudamire, spoke at the sentencing and said she couldn't comprehend what Watkins had done.

"I can't even comprehend how Donald Watkins Sr. and Jr. can take money from me or the rest the victims that were trying to have generational wealth for our children's children," she said, according to al.com.

Rice, a native of Birmingham, testified that Watkins Sr. wrongly used her name in promoting an energy business at the heart of the case. Prosecutors said Watkins included Rice's name in an email to investors although she had declined to get involved.

Watkins once served as a city council member in Montgomery and helped successfully defend HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy in a massive fraud that nearly bankrupted the company, now known as Encompass Health. Watkins also has worked on civil rights cases.

More than 15 years ago, Watkins drew media attention when he attempted to purchase a Major League Baseball team. More recently, he said he was attempting to purchase the NFL's St. Louis Rams before the team moved to Los Angeles.

Although he portrayed himself as wealthy, prosecutors said Watkins had a net worth of only a few thousand dollars.

Writing in a blog post before the sentencing, Watkins Sr. said he would continue to appeal his conviction and claimed he was innocent.

"Jurors try to do the right thing, more often than not. However, my 46-years of active participation in the American judicial system has shown me (and the world) that well-meaning jurors often convict innocent defendants," Watkins wrote.

Read 121 times

Leave a comment

Soccer

Messi grabs hat trick as Barca rout Mallorca

Messi grabs hat trick as Barca rout Mallorca

Lionel Messi celebrated his sixth Ballon D'Or award with a brilliant hat-trick as Barcelona moved ba...

Juventus shocked by Lazio on controversial red

Juventus shocked by Lazio on controversial red

Lazio came from behind to beat Juventus 3-1 and hand the Turin side their first defeat of the season...

Utd's Fred on racist row: 'Backward society'

Utd's Fred on racist row: 'Backward society'

Manchester United midfielder Fred blamed an alleged racial incident that marred the Saturday's Manch...

Basketball

Knicks show signs of life in 1-point loss to Pacers

Knicks show signs of life in 1-point loss to Pacers

NEW YORK -- Julius Randle missed a free throw with 0.1 seconds left, sending New York to a 104-103 l...

Simmons hits 3, scores 34 as 76ers rout Cavs

Simmons hits 3, scores 34 as 76ers rout Cavs

PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Simmons hit his second career 3-pointer and scored a career-high 34 points, and...

Baseball

Royals sign ex-All-Star Rosenthal to minors deal

Royals sign ex-All-Star Rosenthal to minors deal

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals signed former All-Star reliever Trevor Rosenthal to a $2...

Cubs agree to 1-year contract with reliever Winkler

Cubs agree to 1-year contract with reliever Winkler

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs and reliever Dan Winkler agreed Friday to a one-year contract that pays...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation

Sponsored Links

I DIG® Newspapers
www.idignewspapers.com
I Dig® Newspapers, stay up to date with the latest news from around the world.
I DIG® Casino
www.idigcasinos.com
I Dig® Casino, explore our online casino games, play a wide range of free slots and casino games at our online casino today.
I DIG® Radio
www.idigradio.com
I Dig® Radio HD is the only place in the internet where you can find free, super high bit rate internet radio stations from around the world. On I Dig® Radio HD you can find free radio stations streaming at 256kbps.

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.

 

Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (209) 825 5558
Website: www.idig.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Affiliated