Lawyer sentenced for scamming Barkley, others

An attorney convicted of swindling NBA celebrity Charles Barkley and using the call of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to reinforce an investment scam became sentenced to 5 years in jail Tuesday.
U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre additionally 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 fees in advance this year. The two men stole extra than $15 million from traders and a financial institution, prosecutors said.
Bowdre said she took the elder man’s age, 70, into consideration in imposing a lighter sentence, however, the time period becomes stiffer than the home confinement requested via Watkins. She then commenced a sentencing listening to for the son.
During the pair’s trial in advance this yr, witnesses which include Barkley testified approximately losing money in a funding scheme run through the elder Watkins.
Barkley, who grew up close to Birmingham and now works as a television analyst, described himself as a pal of the elder Watkins, who has broken up time residing in both Alabama and Atlanta.
Barkley misplaced extra than $6 million in investments and loans, prosecutors said, and so did other professional athletes including former NFL gamers Takeo Spikes and Bryan Thomas and former NBA big name Damon Stoudamire.
Stoudamire’s spouse, Natasha Taylor-Stoudamire, spoke on the sentencing and said she couldn’t realize what Watkins had done.
“I can’t even recognize how Donald Watkins Sr. And Jr. Can take cash from me or the rest the victims that had been trying to have generational wealth for our children’s children,” she stated, in line with al.Com.
Rice, a local of Birmingham, testified that Watkins Sr. Wrongly used her call in promoting an energy business on the heart of the case. Prosecutors said Watkins included Rice’s name in an e-mail to investors although she had declined to get concerned.
Watkins once served as a town council member in Bernard Law Montgomery and helped successfully shield HealthSouth Corp. Founder Richard Scrushy in a massive fraud that nearly bankrupted the agency, now called Encompass Health. Watkins additionally has labored on civil rights instances.
More than 15 years ago, Watkins drew media attention when he tried to purchase a Major League Baseball group. More recently, he stated he become attempting to buy the NFL’s St. Louis Rams before the crew moved to Los Angeles.
Although he portrayed himself as wealthy, prosecutors said Watkins had an internet really worth of just a few thousand dollars.
Writing in a weblog post earlier than the sentencing, Watkins Sr. Stated he might maintain to enchantment his conviction and claimed he turned into innocent.
“Jurors attempt to do the proper element, extra frequently than not. However, my forty six-years of energetic participation within the American judicial device has shown me (and the world) that properly-that means jurors regularly convict innocent defendants,” Watkins wrote.

As Zion Williamson maintains to put off his expected landmark shoe-deal choice, the rest of the 2019 NBA rookie magnificence has been stalled. A majority of the 2019 first-round selections entered summer time league while not having inked a shoe deal, allowing for a ramification of lesser-regarded gamers to all of sudden make their mark with their footwear.
With his older sibling’s first signature shoe launching simply as Las Vegas Summer League tipped off, Dallas Mavericks ahead Kostas Antetokounmpo served up the on-courtroom debut of brother Giannis’ Nike Freak 1 sneaker, in 4 exceptional colorways no much less.
Of the four colorways donned by using Kostas, one especially holds more which means for the brothers: The white, purple and gold pair with a “Roses” theme honors their past due father, Charles.
“We have been within the method of designing this shoe as a crew while his father surpassed away abruptly,” Nike vice-chairman Kevin Dodson said throughout the preview episode of SneakerCenter on ESPN+. “That just started to take on an extra significant reference factor for that name out.”
As Giannis and his brothers met with Nike’s crew of designers during the last two years to pepper in additional signature touches and nuances, the currently topped NBA MVP mandated a chain of own family nods.
The names of all 4 of his brothers appear along the heel. “Charles + Veronica” may be determined along the arch, speaking to the dad and mom’ assist of the circle of relatives. Most critical, the word “I am my father’s legacy” is featured throughout the lowest of the shoe.
“I want my dad to be remembered, and I want people to recognize that he left a legacy behind,” Antetokounmpo informed The Undefeated and SneakerCenter. “Every shoe that I make, that word is constantly going to be there.”

Eddie Bowers
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