Stephen Barber Young, 57, of Port Angeles, Washington has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for a scheme that reportedly defrauded at least a dozen victims of more than half a million dollars.
Young was sentenced to the high end of the sentencing range by U.S. District Court Judge Franklin Burgess in Tacoma who noted that many of the victims were elderly people who trusted Young. One, a legally blind woman in her 70’s was defrauded of approximately $180,000. Judge Burgess ordered Young to pay $557,000 in restitution.
Young pleaded guilty in May 2004 to a single count of mail fraud in connection with an investment scheme he devised from April 2000 and continued to February of 2002. The essence of the scheme was that Young used false promises, delayed payments and post-dated checks that he never intended to honor to buy and sell gold and silver, operate a gold leasing program, and collect “investments” for an insurance company.
Young reportedly used much of the money and assets transferred to him either to make payments to other investors or to cover the losses resulting from his speculative futures and options trading. Young represented himself as a precious metals investment specialist and operated several businesses, including the Gold and Silver Exchange, Young Financial Services, Clallam County Insurance and Clallam County Senior Services.
The scheme ended in February of 2002 as Young tried to generate a large sum of money to reportedly flee Washington State. Young agreed to purchase gold coins from an Arizona man, by taking delivery of the coins from a family member in Marysville, Washington. Young wrote a $40,248 post dated check for the coins on an account that had already been closed. The check was then mailed to the victim in Arizona.
Federal authorities caught up with Young following his move to Santa Monica, California.
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