Inmate convicted of fraud scheme while in Trion prison

Prosecutors say he ordered construction equipment in Ranger, GA and then resold it quickly

ROME, Georgia (WDEF) – A Georgia inmate has been sentenced for running a multi-million dollar fraud scheme while behind bars in a state prison.

Damon Thomas Young was servicing a 20 year sentence at the Hays State Prison in Trion for assaulting a police officer and racketeering.

He is not scheduled to be released for another nine years.

But while he was behind bars, prosecutors say he ran a scheme to steal heavy equipment.

They say it began in 2019, when he used a contraband phone and a made up name of Morgan Sylvia to pretend he was a purchasing officer for a real biopharmaceutical company.

He ordered heavy construction equipment to be delivered around his hometown of Ranger in Gordon County.

Once it was delivered, prosecutors say he would put it up for sale on Craigslist.

The haul included wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, an excavator, a horizontal grinder, and dump trucks.

They say Young filled out credit applications, purchase orders, sales contracts and insurance documents all by phone from his prison cell.

He also emailed a fraudulent document from the real company, forging the signatures of real corporate officers.

Prosecutors say he got more than $2.8 million worth of equipment from six different dealers.

Most of them caught the fraud before the equipment shipped, but some didn’t.

Gordon County Sheriff’s officers have since tracked down all of the stolen equipment.

Young was convicted of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in August and has just been sentenced to seven more years in prison, plus restitution.

“Young committed an elaborate fraud scheme continuing his criminal activity even while behind bars, and for that he will be further punished by serving time in the federal prison system without the opportunity for parole,” said Alex Santiago, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI would like to thank our state and local partners for all their hard work and persistence that will keep this criminal behind bars for a significant amount of time.”

Categories: Chattooga County, Crime, Local News, Regional News