Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Army lieutenant colonel David Young pleads to charges, forfeits millions

David Young — a former lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who in Hernando County threw lavish political fundraisers, was known to neighbors as a war hero and bought more than a dozen homes — has pleaded guilty to a pair of federal charges and has agreed to serve between three and four years in prison.

As part of the deal, he also agreed to forfeit the fortune and assets he acquired in his scheme to defraud the U.S. military: more than $1.6 million cash, 15 properties on the North Suncoast, one in New Hampshire, a 1999 Jaguar and 400 1-ounce gold coins that at current prices would be valued at about $500,000.

Young, 50, pleaded guilty to disclosure of procurement information and money laundering and is scheduled for sentencing in March. His trial was set to begin in January in Utah, where federal prosecutors have handled the case. If he had been convicted on both charges, Young could have faced up to 25 years in prison.

The Tampa Bay Times has written extensively about Young since 2011, detailing the former Green Beret's sordid past: While practicing law in New Hampshire (where Young had also served as a state representative), he was disbarred in 2006 for misusing a client's money; two years later, he was convicted in a military court-martial of taking two Navy Humvees in Afghanistan; after moving to Hernando, Young operated three businesses that were used primarily to launder money.

The Times interviewed dozens of Young's friends, clients and business associates. Five people listed as executives or key staff members of his firms said at the time that they did almost no work and made, at most, about $1,000.

In multiple interviews last year, Young vehemently denied the accusations.

"I was raised right by my parents," he said at the time. "I knew right from wrong."

He did not return a voicemail Friday afternoon.

As part of the agreement, Young contradicted those assertions and admitted to his part in the scheme:

In 2007, the Army solicited bids for a contract to train Afghan security forces. At the time, Young was in Afghanistan working with those forces, and he was instrumental in developing the deal.

A friend of his owned American International Security Corp. To ensure that it won the bid, Young divulged confidential information to American International, including the government's price estimate and details of the competitor's bid.

In the plea deal, Young admitted that someone affiliated with the company sent "a wire transfer of $196,868.88 to my associate for my benefit. The funds related to the wire transfer were derived from a specified unlawful activity, that is wire fraud."

Long ago, Young seemed destined for enormous success.

At 21, he became one of New Hampshire's youngest state legislators. He later helped lead John McCain's statewide presidential campaign and attended both Bushes' inaugurations. On a visit to South Africa in 1988, he held the hand of Mother Teresa.

Back then, many in New Hampshire thought he would one day become governor or a U.S. senator.

After the disbarment and court-martial and other troubles, Florida seemed to offer him a fresh start.

But on the morning of Sept. 7, 2011, that all came apart as his stunned neighbors watched federal agents show up at his 5,197-square-foot home with bulletproof vests and guns and a pry bar.

Times photographer Will Vragovic contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at

Former Army lieutenant colonel David Young pleads to charges, forfeits millions 12/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, December 13, 2013 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  2. Watch a man steal a lawn mower by driving it off the lot in Clearwater


    CLEARWATER — Police are looking for a man who drove a lawn mower straight off the Quality Motors lot on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard last week.

    Clearwater police are looking for a man who drove a lawn mower off the Quality Motors lot on May 18. (Clearwater police)
  3. Ex-daughter-in-law accused of $80,000 shopping spree with family Sam's Club account

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — Plenty of people have in-law horror stories. But perhaps not as vexing as the one Thomas and June Simpson tell.

    Police said Mishay Simpson shot Andrew Noll in 2014 after he entered her Davis Islands home. An investigation found the two had been having an affair. Now she is accused in a civil lawsuit of charging $80,000 to her ex-husband's Sam's Club card, which was linked to his parents' bank account. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

  5. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]