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Inmate Sentenced for Conning Dealers into Selling Him $2.8M in Equipment

A federal inmate has been sentenced for fraudulently ordering $2.8 million worth of heavy equipment from six different dealers.

While serving a 20-year state prison sentence at Hays State Prison in Trion, Georgia, Damon Thomas Young used a contraband cellphone to con multiple heavy equipment dealers into selling him wheel loaders, skid steer loaders, an excavator, a horizontal grinder and dump trucks.

The 39-year-old inmate, using the alias Morgan Sylvia, claimed to be a purchasing agent for Chicago pharmaceutical company AbbVie for a new facility he said was being built in Ranger, Georgia. Once the equipment was obtained, he sold it on Craigslist.

Most of the dealers caught the fraud before shipment, but Young was successful in acquiring four pieces of equipment worth over $500,000.

“Young schemed to steal millions of dollars’ worth of heavy equipment while serving a sentence for assaulting a police officer,” says U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Inmates should not think that the crimes they commit from prison will go unpunished just because they are already incarcerated. As in this case, inmates who commit crimes from behind bars face additional federal prison time to be served after their state sentences end.”

On Nov. 30, Young was sentenced to seven years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Georgia. The court ordered that five years of the federal sentence run consecutively to the state sentence that Young is currently serving. His maximum possible release date from state prison is June 16, 2030.

Young has also been ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution to the online purchaser of the stolen equipment.   

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