Orem Mayor and Son Hit by Verdict in $1M Civil Lawsuit | News, Sports, Jobs

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OREM — An Alabama court has awarded a $1 million civil judgment against Orem Mayor David Young and other defendants, finding a man was cheated out of an investment in a real estate company.

Young, his son Shawn D. Young, and Torch13 LLC, a company founded by David Young, were sued over allegations that they failed to repay transactions described as loans intended to spur the defendants’ Alabama home exchange business.

Plaintiff Ross Gagliano borrowed $285,000 in multiple installments in 2017 and 2018, of which $239,000 remains unpaid, Jefferson County, Alabama Circuit Court Judge Pat Ballard said in a May 23 ruling. May 2022 after a two-day process.

With interest, Gagliano owes $339,235 in damages, the judge said. In addition, the defendants must pay Gagliano “on the basis of clear and compelling evidence of malicious intent and fraud” in punitive damages of $678,471, for a total of $1,017,706.

The judge criticized the Youngs in his ruling, saying they “extremely lack credibility” and are “often very evasive in their answers to even the simplest of questions.” He said both Youngs began testifying early in the trial “by admitting they had misled the court about their vaccination status.”

With kind approval

A $1 million lien against Orem Mayor David Young for a judgment entered against him by a civil court in Alabama.

In an interview on Thursday, David Young strongly disagreed with the verdict and dismissed all allegations of fraud against him. He said his son’s dealings with Gagliano had nothing to do with Torch13 or him.

“He was trying to take what we had built and peel off part of it for himself,” David Young said of his son.

Young said he “didn’t even know” about Gagliano’s apparent initial demands for Shawn Young to return the money. “Ross calls me and says can you pay it back,” said David Young. “I said I know nothing about it and I’m not in the habit of paying my son’s bills. Next thing I know, this lawsuit has been served on me.”

He said the lawsuit was “just a big money robbery.” Young and Gagliano’s attorney, G. Daniel Evans of Birmingham, both confirmed the case is now being appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.

In an interview, Evans described the trial and finding of compensatory and punitive damages against the Youngs as a thorough trial that documented “the reprehensibility of their actions.” He said that “none of this is flattering at all”.

Evans said the judgment was not paid, nor was bail posted to promise payment. Alabama court records show that garnishment orders were issued against the Youngs.

In his sentencing order, Holland set out his finding of David Young’s liability in the allegations. He said that while David Young characterized his son as an independent contractor, the extensive use of Torch13 funds for Shawn Young’s personal expenses “shows that the two , if at all”, “how partners acted in the business”.

Ballard said that all loans Gagliano made went to Torch13, not Shawn Young, and that this was confirmed when David Young wired Gagliano $50,000 in 2019 as part payment of the 2017 loans.

The judge found that David Young was required to inform Gagliano that Shawn Young had “misappropriated and gambled away the loan proceeds.”

In addition, the judge wrote that David Young, knowing of his son’s gambling addiction and “the resulting incompetence, willfully and with a conscious and reckless disregard for the rights of others,” sent Shawn Young to Alabama on the house-flipping operation operate, vested with the authority of Torch13.

After the initial $85,000 loan and before Gagliano made additional loans totaling $200,000, David Young fraudulently “suppressed” Gagliano from knowing that his son had serious gambling problems and was financially incompetent, the judge wrote. Shawn Young fraudulently enticed Gagliano into making the loans, which were designed to generate 12% interest per year, the judge added.

But David Young said his son and Gagliano were friends, and a court testimony from the Youngs’ litigator said Gagliano knew Shawn was playing Young. David Young said there are no written agreements for the transactions. However, the judge said the loans were valid oral agreements and promissory notes that Shawn Young drafted long after the loan was made were invalid.

David Young said his son went through an “ugly” divorce that “turned his life upside down”. He said Shawn Young told Gagliano “he planned to make amends once he got his life back on track.”

David Young said the lawsuit was “completely frivolous” and that, as for the Gagliano dealings, “I had nothing to do with it”.

“It’s a fantasy, the craziest homer situation I’ve ever seen in my life,” said David Young. He said the judge owed a $140,000 case “and magically expanded it into a million-dollar judgment.”

He also complained that Gagliano’s “very aggressive law firm hassled us to collect this false, fanciful verdict.”

David Young, who runs an investment company in Utah County, said he has run numerous companies. “I’ve never been sued in my life,” he said.

The mayor was asked whether the news of the civil case affected him politically. “Who knows? I’m not a politician,” he said. “I ran to make Orem a better place to live and return to many of our family values ​​here.”

Efforts to contact Shawn Young were not immediately successful. Matthew Hornsby, the Youngs’ trial attorney in Birmingham, declined to comment on the civil case. Jay Porter, an attorney representing the Youngs on the Supreme Court appeal, did not respond to a call.


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