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A banned financial advisor in Florida has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison for stealing millions of dollars from investors in fraudulent investment schemes.

In June, Philippe Conley, of Jacksonville, Fla., pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia. He was charged in September 2020 with six counts of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud and faced up to 20 years in prison on each count, as reported.

Prosecutors say Conley posed as an investment advisor despite his broker’s license being suspended in 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Conley persuaded various investors, including friends, family, pastors and churches to invest in bogus businesses such as student housing construction, high yield fixed income securities, rights mining and more, according to the US attorney’s office. Instead, however, Conley spent the funds “on private jets, designer clothing, dining, jewelry, and lodging and living expenses,” according to prosecutors.

On Dec. 3, Conley was sentenced to 87 months in prison and ordered to confiscate any property purchased with the proceeds of crime as well as to pay an amount of $ 4.9 million, according to the US attorney’s office.

The criminal indictment related to the same behavior as the Security and Trade Commission alleged in a civil action filed in April 2020 that accused Conley of defrauding investors, including pastors and church worshipers, over $ 5.2 million over several years.

The SEC banned Conley on Dec. 2 after he pleaded guilty, according to BrokerCheck.

Conley began his career in the financial services industry in 2007 and was registered with Citigroup and Wells Fargo Consultants before joining Merrill Lynch in 2012, according to BrokerCheck. His registration with Merrill ended in 2014 and he had not registered with another Financial sector regulatory authority– member company since then.

Finra suspended Conley in December 2015 for alleged breach of a Finra arbitration award in a complaint filed by Merrill, according to the self-regulator.

The financial advisor first reported the trouble.

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