Sentencing for lawyer accused of scamming Barkley, others

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A lawyer accused of swindling NBA star Charles Barkley and using the name of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to bolster an investment scam is in court for sentencing.

Donald Watkins Sr. was trying to convince U.S. District Judge Karon Bowdre to give him a lesser sentence during a hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of 17½ years for the 70-year-old Watkins and 6½ years for his son, Donald Watkins Jr. Both were convicted on fraud charges earlier this year.

Prosecutors say the two men stole more than $15 million from investors and a bank.

Witnesses including Barkley testified during trial about losing money in the scheme. Rice testified that Watkins wrongly used her name in promoting an energy business at the heart of the case.

Categories: National & International News