May 24, 2018
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Ponzi schemer with ties to MDI ordered to repay $21 million to victims

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

MOUNT DESERT, Maine — A former local seasonal resident who has pleaded guilty to stealing millions of dollars from investors has been ordered to repay more than $21 million to former clients of his investment firm.

Despite the issuance of the restitution order, filed April 28 in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the sentencing hearing for Donald Anthony Walker Young has been rescheduled from Tuesday morning to Thursday afternoon, according to federal court documents.

The written order requires Young, 40, to repay $21,166,488 to former clients whose money he stole between 1999 and 2009. The document indicates that, in addition to that amount, $5 million already has been recovered and distributed among his victims.

Young pleaded guilty last summer to stealing more than $27 million from clients of his investment firm. Before the spring of 2009, when his scheme was discovered, Young spent his clients’ money on maintaining homes in the local village of Northeast Harbor; in Palm Beach, Fla.; and in Chester County, Pa.

According to documents filed in court by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission, Young used the funds to “support a lavish lifestyle for his family, including payments for expenses related to horse ownership and racing, construction, boats, limousines, chartered aircraft and other luxuries.” He helped to keep the scheme going by using money from some investors “to pay other investors in the nature of a Ponzi scheme,” SEC officials indicated.

Young’s sentencing hearing has been delayed nearly half a dozen times. It had been scheduled for last October, then December, then March, and then April. The hearing was bumped again from April 27 to May 3, and then on Monday was rescheduled to May 5.

Information about why Young’s sentencing has been repeatedly postponed has not been publicly released.

At the time his scheme unraveled, Young owned a home on Tennis Club Road in Northeast Harbor. He had purchased the home, which has five bedrooms, 3½ bathrooms and three fireplaces, in 2001 for $715,000. The house sits on a 1.39-acre parcel within easy walking distance of the Northeast Harbor Swimming Club, which overlooks Somes Sound.

After the SEC seized the property as collateral to repay Young’s investors, the house sold in January 2010 to Owen C. Marx for $1.25 million, according to local municipal records. Federal officials also seized from Young a 33-foot fiberglass International One sailing sloop called Sagara, which they subsequently put on the market for $72,000.

Federal officials also seized and sold off Young’s former homes in Chester County and Palm Beach in order to raise funds to repay his investors.

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