DOJ: Florida Man Sentenced For Securities Fraud In West Virginia
On December 3rd, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) formally announced that Phillip W. Conley of Jacksonville, Florida has been sentenced to 87 months in prison for his role in perpetrating a securities fraud scheme. In total, federal authorities allege that Mr. Conley defrauded churches and people in West Virginia out of nearly $5 million. In this post, our Miami investment fraud lawyers provide an overview of the allegations, the charges, and the criminal sentence.
Background: Phillip W. Conley’s Securities License Was Suspended in 2015
Phillip W. Conley of Jacksonville, Florida was a licensed securities broker from 2007 through 2014. During that time, he was associated with several brokerage firms, including Citigroup Global Markets, Wells Fargo Advisors, and Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, & Smith.
In February of 2013, an investor filed a FINRA arbitration claim against Mr. Conley. The customer alleged that the financial advisor made unsuitable recommendations related to the purchase of high-fee variable annuities. A settlement of $34,750.00 was eventually reached.
In 2015, FINRA announced the indefinite suspension of financial advisor Phillip W. Conley based on his failure to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement. As of 2021, Mr. Conley’s securities license remains suspended.
Former Florida Broker Found Guilty of Securities Fraud in West Virginia
Although Phillip W. Conley’s securities broker license was suspended, he still represented himself as a financial advisor in good standing to church organizations and individual church members in West Virginia. According to allegations raised in a securities fraud case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Mr. Conley formed a company called ALPAX, LLC. He told actual and prospective investors that the company was invested in a wide range of ventures, including:
- Student housing;
- Oil and gas technology; and
- Development of mineral rights.
The SEC contends that the “investments” made by ALPAX, LLC were largely false. Indeed, Mr. Conley was charged with sending his investors financial statements that contained inaccurate information, including false returns. In total, Mr. Conley took in more than $5 million from investors in West Virginia.
Sentence: 87 Months in Prison and Monetary Penalties
The former financial advisor Phillip W. Conley faced both criminal and civil securities fraud charges. He has been sentenced to serve 87 months in prison. Additionally, Mr. Conley has also been ordered to pay $4.85 million in financial restitution to investors and to forfeit any ill-gotten property.
Set Up a Confidential Consultation With a Florida Securities Fraud Attorney
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Florida securities fraud law firm is devoted to protecting the best interests of investors. If you or someone close to you sustained financial losses in an investment fraud scheme, we are here as a legal resource. Get in touch with us via phone or send us a direct message throughout our website for a completely confidential appointment with a lawyer. Our securities law firm represents investors in Miami, South Florida, Puerto Rico, and beyond.