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Press Release

Three Men Plead Guilty to Role in Fraudulent Scheme to Defraud Chain of Home Improvement Stores

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Donovan Young, 60, of Hartsville, Aaron Young, 34, of Florence, and James Hoffman, 47, of McBee, have pled guilty to wire fraud conspiracy for their role in a scheme to defraud a chain of home improvement stores.

Evidence obtained in the investigation revealed that the Youngs and Hoffman would purchase Lowe’s merchandise cards, for a discounted value, from known coconspirators who had fraudulently obtained the merchandise cards.  Evidence presented shows that the Youngs and Hoffman were aware that the merchandise cards had been fraudulently obtained by the known coconspirators by stealing merchandise from the home improvement stores throughout the District of South Carolina and then, through fake identities, returning the stolen merchandise for merchandise cards.  

The Youngs and Hoffman face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. They also face a fine of up to $250,000, restitution, and three years of supervision to follow the term of imprisonment.  United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Donovan Young, Aaron Young, and James Hoffman after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Charleston Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Bower is prosecuting the case.



MEDIA CONTACT:   Veronica Hill, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Attorney’s Office,, (803) 929-3000

Updated May 30, 2024