Young sentencing delayed to April

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 14, 2015

A sentencing hearing for the Andalusia businessman who pleaded guilty to charges involved in a theft of $53 million has been set for April.

Patricia Hartman, public information officer with the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania said Friday the new hearing is set for April 27, 2015.

Young will appear before Judge Paul S. Diamond.

Young, one of three local defendants in the multi-million dollar fraud case and former president of South Central Agency in Andalusia, pleaded guilty in April 2012 to charges involved with the theft of $53 million from Equipment Finance Inc (EFI).

The hearing for Harold Young has been postponed numerous times.

He was initially scheduled to be sentenced in July 2012, again in July 2014 and December 2014.

Hartman did not say why the hearing was continued.

Young is one of eight defendants in the case that resulted in losses of $53 million to EFI, a logging industry lender that provided funding for the purchase of forestry and land-clearing equipment.

Also included in the case were local businessmen Wiley Spann and John S. Tomberlin.

Court records show that from 2001 through 2007, the defendants orchestrated a scheme to steal money by looting the accounts of EFI and falsifying the company’s books.

Spann participated in the fraud scheme in a number of ways, including assisting the employees of EFI to create numerous bogus loans, forging EFI loan documents and auditor confirmation letters, and paying nominal borrowers to sign false EFI loan documents. For helping to manage the EFI loan fraud, Spann illegally compensated himself with between $80,000 and $100,000 per year in EFI funds. Tomberlin signed a bogus EFI loan contract in exchange for a payment from Spann of $10,000.

Young and Tomberlin also assisted Spann in looting EFI’s insurance escrow account. Although no EFI borrower had purchased insurance from their company, South Central Agency, Young and Tomberlin permitted Spann to create bogus SCA insurance invoices and send them to EFI. EFI then mailed checks to SCA, which were deposited into SCA’s accounts. In total, more than $1 million was sent from EFI to SCA for these nonexistent policies.

For allowing Spann to use their invoices and accounts, Young and Tomberlin charged Spann 20 percent of the EFI money that flowed through their accounts.

Young disbursed the rest of the stolen money at Spann’s direction.