Lawyer sentenced to 5 years for scamming Barkley, others

Mail Online | 7/16/2019 | Associated Press
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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 - Prison - Sentence - Years - Watkins

Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 17½ years for Watkins and 6½ years for his son, Donald Watkins Jr.

Both were convicted on fraud and conspiracy charges earlier this year.

Men - Investors - Bank - Prosecutors

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.

Sentencing - Hearing - Son

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 - Birmingham - Television - Analyst - Friend

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 - Wife - Natasha - Taylor-Stoudamire - Sentencing

Stoudamire's wife, Natasha Taylor-Stoudamire, spoke at the sentencing and said she couldn't comprehend what Watkins had...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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