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Lake Wales Police Arrest Former BizLinc CFO After Employer Suspected Theft

Lake Wales Police Press Release

Lake Wales Police arrested Charles Young Jr., Chief Financial Officer of Florida Development Corporation (FDC) at his home in Hillsborough County Friday morning following a lengthy investigation into alleged financial crimes. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on a warrant for grand theft of more than $100,000 and for obtaining more than $50,000 in property through fraud, both 1st degree felonies. He is currently held without bond while he awaits extradition to Polk County.

Young’s arrest was the result of an investigation that began in November of 2023 when FDC contacted police three months after they terminated his employment and reported they suspected him of theft from the organization. The investigation revealed Young intentionally overpaid himself through payroll from August 2022 through July 2023 to the amount of $32,000. Detectives also found Young had used Florida Development Corporation’s business checking account to pay his personal and business credit card bills to the tune of more than $190,000. Using financial records and working with the chief executive and operating officers of the corporation, detectives determinedthe total amount stolen was nearly a quarter of a million dollars. 

During this time, Young was the sole controller of funds for Florida Development Corporation, operated by Frank Cornier, Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Blue, Chief Operating Officer and Charles Young Jr., Chief Financial Officer. Young also worked with Young and Sons Tax and Accounting, LLC., a family owned tax and accounting business in Ybor, Florida when the theft occurred.

Florida Development Corporation specializes in real estate, community and economic development. The organizationopened in 2016 and functions primarily through government funded grants. The City of Lake Wales entered into a partnership with Florida Development Corporation on July 25, 2022 and has granted the organization a total of $900,000 to help local businesses grow and steer small businesses towards success. City leaders are awaiting the findings of a previously requested performance audit to ensure the organization has fulfilled the terms of their agreement. 

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Carl Fish

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