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Investment Fraud Charges Brought Against Investment Manager

A former Kennett Square investment manager faces numerous investment fraud charges for his alleged involvement in an elaborate Ponzi scheme that provided him with a lavish lifestyle. On Tuesday, July 20, 2010, 39-year-old Tony Young pleaded guilty to investment fraud charges.

According to prosecutors, Mr. Young duped 73 investors out of approximately $95 million between 1999 and April 2009. He has been accused of using $68 million to pay dividends and returns to investors while using $25 million to fund his expensive lifestyle in Maine and Palm Beach, Florida. He allegedly used $1.9 million to purchase a home in Palm Beach.

Mr. Young has been charged with mail fraud and money laundering and is expected to be sentenced on October 28, 2010, by U.S. District Judge Juan R. Sanchez. Mr. Young could get up to 30 years in prison.

According to a change of plea memorandum, Mr. Young described how he conducted his fraud. He told investigators how his investment scheme got out of control “when he realized that he could fraudulently transfer funds to himself with no oversight by others,” the memorandum said. He also indicated that he used spreadsheets to keep track of what he told investors compared to what he told his accountants.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shut down Mr. Young’s investment firm, Acorn Capital Management on April 2009.