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Sat, Feb. 29

Yucca Fire Chief to appear in court on felony theft charges

Matthew J. Young (MCSO photo)

Matthew J. Young (MCSO photo)

KINGMAN – A community is still reeling more than two months after a chief of the Yucca Fire District allegedly confessed to embezzling $40,000 from his department. He will appear in court Friday as he awaits trial on felony counts of theft and misuse of public funding.

Prosecutors say that Matthew J. Young, 40, embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from his department from November through May. He turned himself in to Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies on July 23, and allegedly admitted that he used $40,000 from the Yucca Fire District’s bank account to buy several guns, 3D printers, two boats and other items. Young’s duties as chief over his district included procuring new equipment through the district’s bank account, as well as billing by the department and managing the district’s day-to-day operations.

“The public is still in shock,” said new Yucca Fire Chief William Leflet. “They’re all disappointed. As a department, we’re pushing through with what we need to do as we continue our investigation.”

Young was arraigned Aug. 1, and offered a plea of not guilty. He is scheduled to appear in Mohave Superior Court Friday for a pre-trial conference. He was released under his own recognizance, and given permission by the court to travel between Arizona and California earlier this month.

He will be represented by Kingman-based defense attorney Shawn Hamp. On Wednesday, Hamp said his office was still gathering information and discovery in the case as Young’s case progresses.

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