PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Former financial planner James A. Young III, 49, of Milton, Florida, was arraigned today in the U.S. District Court in Pensacola after a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging him with two counts of wire fraud and three counts of failure to file tax returns over a three-year period. The indictment was announced today by Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.
The indictment alleges that between 2010 and 2014, while working as a financial planner, Young solicited his clients and others to invest money in false “side investments” in real estate and natural resource rights. The indictment also alleges that Young presented false documents to potential investors and falsely told them he was also personally invested to convince them to invest.
The indictment further alleges that Young then pocketed the money, which totaled over $500,000, and used it for his own personal use. Further, in some instances, Young is alleged to have used money obtained from investors to pay back other investors, fraudulently representing the funds were returns or interest on their investments in order to keep the scheme going. Young also allegedly failed to file his federal tax returns for 2012, 2013, and 2014.
The maximum penalty for wire fraud is twenty years’ imprisonment. The maximum penalty for failure to file tax returns is one year imprisonment. The trial is scheduled for September 3, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. at the United States Courthouse in Pensacola.
Assistant United States Attorney Alicia H. Forbes is prosecuting the case following an investigation by the Emerald Coast Financial Crimes Task Force consisting of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative, which combats elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors and is a key priority of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
An indictment is merely an allegation by a grand jury that a defendant has committed a violation of federal criminal law and is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html