Young set to plea in fraud case

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 16, 2012

The last of three local businessmen accused of stealing $53 million in a massive loan fraud scheme in Pennsylvania is set to plead guilty to his involvement in the case at the end of the month.

Court documents show Harold W. Young of Andalusia, the sixth defendant in the Equipment Finance loan fraud case, is scheduled to admit his participation in the case on Thurs., March 29, in Philadelphia federal court, the online media source, The Lancaster Online, reported Thursday.

Young and John S. Tomberlin, both associated with Andalusia’s South Central Agency, and John Wiley Spann, a logging equipment dealer, were indicted in November 2010 by a federal grand jury under allegations they participated in the fraud at the request of officials with Sterling Financial Corp’s Equipment Finance LLC, based in Pennsylvania.

Young initially was charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, five counts of money laundering and eight counts of mail fraud. Additional charges were filed against him in December, including one count of wire fraud, a new offense, an additional count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two additional counts of money laundering.

The three were among the business people and bankders involved in a six-year scheme in which they are accused of falsifying EFI’s books and looting its accounts, causing $53 million in losses by facilitating false loan documents for logging equipment sales through EFI.

Following their arrest, the three locals also were ordered to forfeit more than $1.04 million.

In August, Tomberlin pled guilty to four counts – committing conspiracy, mail fraud affecting a financial institution, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering – for his part in the case. He now faces a total of up to 85 years in jail and $4.8 million in fines.

A month earlier, Spann pled guilty and agreed to forfeit $7.6 million he pocketed from the fraud. Spann could face up to 45 years in prison and a $2.5 million fine.

Spann and Tomberlin are awaiting sentencing.

Allegations in the newest indictment against Young stated that from 2002 until sometime in January 2007, he was alleged to have made 22 bank deposits totaling $1.04 million paid for premiums for non-existing insurance policies on non-existent equipment. The indictment also alleges that on Jan. 2, 2007, Young deposited a $66,150 check for premiums of 10 fictitious insurance policies into the South Central Agency account, and then – on the same day – sent nearly $43,000 to a company owned by Spann.

Young was set for trial on April 5, and it was believed that Spann and Tomberlin, as well as other defendants in the case, planned to testify at the trial.