A Ranger man was sentenced to seven years in federal prison, alongside the time he’s currently serving in the Georgia system, for trying to defraud various heavy equipment dealers of nearly $3 million while at Hays State Prison in Trion.

Damon Thomas Young, who went under the alias Morgan Sylvia, earlier pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

“Young schemed to steal millions of dollars’ worth of heavy equipment while serving a sentence for assaulting a police officer,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine in a statement.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Brown sentenced Young, 39, to seven years in prison and three years of supervised release. Five years of his federal sentence will run concurrently with the 20-year sentence Young is currently serving for aggravated assault on a police officer.

Judge Brown ordered that Young pay $30,000 in restitution to the online purchaser of the equipment.

According to U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia and the indictment in the case:

In 2019 while serving a state prison sentence, Young used the alias Morgan Sylvia and pretended to be a purchasing officer with AbbVie, a biopharmaceutical company.

He ordered equipment such as wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, an excavator, a horizontal grinder and dump trucks. Young communicated with the equipment dealers by a contraband cellphone, text, and email from prison.

He had the heavy construction equipment delivered in and around Ranger, where he and his family lived. Young then put the equipment up for sale to buyers on Craigslist.

Prosecutors say Young fraudulently completed credit applications, purchase orders, sales contracts and insurance documents and emailed them to the dealers as part of the scheme. He also emailed a forged AbbVie corporate resolution document, purportedly signed by actual corporate officers of the company.

In total, Young ordered equipment worth over $2.8 million from six different equipment dealers. However, most of the dealers caught the fraud before shipment.

Young was successful in acquiring four pieces of equipment worth over $500,000. He sold some of the stolen equipment online and used the proceeds to purchase two Chevrolet work trucks.

The Gordon County Sheriff’s Office has since recovered all of the stolen equipment that was shipped.

“We are very pleased that this matter has been brought to a successful conclusion through the combined efforts of our partners in state and federal government, and ourselves,” Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said in a statement.

“This was a massive and complex investigation that required the best efforts of all the officers, agents and prosecutors assigned to the case. My congratulations to each investigative agency and to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for all of their hard work,” Ralston said.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Department of Corrections Criminal Investigations Division.


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