Young sentencing delayed again

Published 12:38 am Friday, May 6, 2016

The sentencing hearing for the Andalusia businessman who pleaded guilty to charges involved in the theft of some $53 million was postponed, again, making him the only local person not to have been sentenced yet.

Patricia Hartman, public information officer with the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said Thursday the new hearing is set for June 9 at 2 p.m.

The hearing was set in February before Judge Paul S. Diamond.

Harold Young’s hearing has been postponed numerous times beginning in July 2012.

Hartman said the docket does not indicate who requested the continuance, but postponements are a frequent occurrence.

Young, one of three local defendants in a 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 the $53 million from Equipment Finance Inc.

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

Also included were locals 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.

Spann was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $7.6 million in restitution for his part in the scheme in 2012; and Tomberlin was sentenced to 45 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.87 million in restitution in August 2015. His sentencing was also postponed seven times. He has completed his sentence.

He was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay a $500 special assessment.