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Florida man indicted in West Virginia in $5M fraud scheme

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — A Florida man has been indicted on federal charges in West Virginia that he defrauded 18 people out of about $5 million, a prosecutor said.

Phillip W. Conley, 38, of Jacksonville, Florida, was indicted on six counts of mail fraud and one count of securities fraud, U.S. Attorney Bill Powell said in a statement Tuesday.

Conley portrayed himself as an investment adviser working out of offices in West Virginia and elsewhere. He allegedly convinced victims to give him and his companies money to invest from 2014 to 2019.

The statement said Conley mailed false dividend statements to the victims, which included church members and his adoptive mother and stepfather.

Conley spent much of the money on himself, including private flights, expensive meals, clothes, jewelry and housing. The statement said about $210,000 was returned to the victims.

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