Donora man ordered to repay $159K he scammed from retired Lancaster teacher
A former Indiana University of Pennsylvania basketball star will avoid prison time after he promised to repay the $159,000 that he admittedly conned from a retired school teacher.
Yancey Darnell Taylor, 47, of Donora, pleaded guilty Friday in Lancaster County to two felony theft counts and was sentenced by Judge Dennis E. Reinaker to 14 years of probation, according to court dockets. Taylor made an “immediate” restitution payment of $37,000 and was ordered to pay $200 a month until reimbursement and court costs are paid.
Taylor was ordered not to have any contact with the victim, a 72-year-old Lancaster woman.
The state attorney general’s office charged Taylor with theft in May 2017, saying he repeatedly threatened that she would face retaliation from the mafia if she didn’t give him money, which amounted to the woman’s life’s savings. He took the money between 2012 and 2013, gambling it away at The Meadows Casino in North Strabane Township and other area casinos, prosecutors said.
Taylor, who was a standout basketball player at Ringgold High School, told the woman she had to “pay the boss” before he would earn her returns through investments.
The victim met Taylor in 2012 when she rented him a house she inherited in Rostraver, Westmoreland County. Shapiro said Taylor gained her trust by assisting her in recouping money she was owed by a previous tenant.
“This scam artist preyed on an elderly woman and stole her life savings,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a 2017 news release. “He came into her life, gained her trust, and then abused that trust to fuel his own greed and gambling habit.”
Attempts to reach Taylor and his attorney, Raymond E. Stout III of Lancaster, were unsuccessful. However, Taylor appeared to address the issue in a Facebook post, indicating he was eager to move on from the arrest.
“Thank good lord this is over, God is good and I am moving forward in my life,” he posted Friday.
Taylor played professional basketball in Italy and Germany in the 1990s. He was inducted into IUP Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
At the time of his arrest, Taylor was the leading vote-getter on the Democrat ballot for one of four seats on Donora council. He lost in the 2017 general election.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .