Fraud trial delayed

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 21, 2011

The trial of three local businessmen indicted in Pennsylvania in November for their parts in allegedly stealing $53 million in a massive loan fraud scheme has been delayed.

John Tomberlin and Harold Young, both associated with Andalusia’s South Central Agency, and John Wiley Spann, a logging equipment dealer, stand accused with five other defendants in Pennsylvania of mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors say the defendants participated in a six-year scheme in which they falsified the accounts of Sterling Financial Corp’s Equipment Finance LLC, based in Pennsylvania, causing $53 million in losses.

When those charged in the case were arraigned in December, their trial originally was scheduled to start yesterday, Jan. 20.

However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said yesterday a federal judge ruled on motions to declare the case complex, which generally means that one or both sides needs more time to prepare for trial.

A new trial date has not been set, she said.