Thursday, December 14, 2017
News Roundup

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 [email protected]

Comments
NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Carson Wentz's injury drops Eagles out of top five

What follows below is a ranking of all 32 NFL teams. To build this list, we consulted five objective measures of team strength: Pro Football Reference’s Simple Rating System, Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average ratings...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Poll: Most Americans say 'Merry Christmas' and prefer Rudolph over Charlie Brown

Poll: Most Americans say 'Merry Christmas' and prefer Rudolph over Charlie Brown

The Monmouth University Polling institute released the results of their Christmas poll today.
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Social worker fired from Bay Pines calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Social worker fired from Bay Pines calls it retaliation for complaints of harassment

Chalea Weekes fumes each time she sees another entertainer, politician or public figure stand accused of sexual harassment.Fired from her job in the social work department at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, Weekes says in federal complaints that ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

Rick and Tom podcast: Dirk Koetter, Evan Longoria, Stanley Cup and more

In their latest podcast, Rick Stroud and Tom Jones answer a lightning round of questions. Will Dirk Koetter be the Bucs’ coach next year? Where will Evan Longoria be on Opening Day? Will the Lightning win the Stanley Cup? Who will be better next year...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Florida Missing Child Alert canceled for Jacksonville boy, 2

Florida Missing Child Alert canceled for Jacksonville boy, 2

A Jacksonville boy, 2, who was reported missing early Thursday morning, has been found safe.A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for Legend Jones, who had last been seen in the 1900 block of Fouraker Road in Jacksonville, according to the ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Be ready for busy roads and airports: 5.6 million Floridians to travel for the holidays

Be ready for busy roads and airports: 5.6 million Floridians to travel for the holidays

A record-breaking number of Americans are expected to travel during the holiday season next week, according to a AAA report released Thursday.The travel company projects 107.3 million Americans will pack their bags and leave their homes between Dec. ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Here’s who’ll benefit, and who might not, if net neutrality is repealed as expected

Here’s who’ll benefit, and who might not, if net neutrality is repealed as expected

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is expected to repeal net neutrality rules Thursday, a move that will likely have major implications for internet service providers, startups and consumers.The hotly contested move centers on a set o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa chamber of commerce evolves to take on more policy challenges

Tampa chamber of commerce evolves to take on more policy challenges

TAMPA — A couple of the ways the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce has changed — evolved, really — will be on view today at the organization’s 132nd annual meeting at the Tampa Convention Center.But first, recall what the chamber used to be."A coffee...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

Disney buying large part of 21st Century Fox in $52.4 billion deal

NEW YORK — Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology compa...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Joe Henderson: Recent cold snap brings to mind the Big Chill of Christmas ‘89

Joe Henderson: Recent cold snap brings to mind the Big Chill of Christmas ‘89

You know that little snap of frigid — OK, chilly — weather we just had? In Florida, we call that winter, a season we typically measure in hours.If it’s really savage, the thermometer might not rise above 50 degrees for two or sometimes three whole da...
Updated: 3 hours ago