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DISBARRED LAWYER'S INDICTMENT DROPPED

A judge has thrown out a 14-year-old insurance fraud indictment against a disbarred local lawyer.

Floyd Young, 54, who has been in federal custody since being arrested in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, still faces prosecution for alleged heroin trafficking, but Erie County Judge Sheila A. DiTullio dismissed the indictment against him on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument.

Defense attorney Michael G. O'Rourke, who represented Young in the insurance fraud case, won the dismissal, with agreement from District Attorney Frank J. Clark, because of the death last year of the client Young was accused of swindling.

O'Rourke, who does not represent Young in the federal case, said he finds it "sad" that the Cornell University Law School graduate -- who was disbarred in 1991 and was a federal fugitive for more than 14 years -- was involved "on the wrong end of the drug business in the mid-1980s."

But O'Rourke said he is hopeful that Young, a father of six, will eventually "get his life turned around."

William J. Knapp, the federal prosecutor handling the heroin-trafficking case filed against Young in 1987, said the former lawyer will remain in federal custody in Batavia until December, when the next federal court appearance is scheduled.

Young was tracked down in Saudi Arabia nearly a year ago by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Interpol, federal marshals and other agencies and arrested in the spring.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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