February 3, 2021
By: Tyler Eckel
A Burlington County, New Jersey, man today admitted stealing more than $350,000 from a special needs trust, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Eugene Young, 69, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
A special needs trust was established to provide for the supplemental care, maintenance, support, and education of a disabled individual and, in December 2017, had more than $1 million in assets in two bank accounts. In December 2017, Young caused the trust’s trustee, a senior citizen, to execute a power of attorney appointing him as the trustee’s agent.
Young used the power of attorney to gain access to the trust’s bank accounts and, between December 2017 and June 2019, used a variety of means to divert funds from the trust. Young used a debit card associated with the bank accounts to make more than 650 purchases and approximately 200 ATM withdrawals. He also wrote checks from the accounts to himself, made other withdrawals from the accounts, and cashed portions of annuity checks that were the property of the trust. The funds were not used for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiary, as required by the terms of the trust, but rather for Young’s personal use. Young misappropriated more than $350,000 from the trust before his scheme was discovered.
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross pecuniary gain to the defendant or twice the gross pecuniary loss to others, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2021.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, special agents of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Hegarty, and special agents of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Friedman of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Thomas Young Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden