The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged West Virginia-based registered representative Phillip Conley with securities fraud. According to the SEC charges, Mr. Conley made fraudulent securities offerings raising $5.2 million from at least 20 investors.
According to the allegations, between January 2014 and September 2018, Conley convinced investors, including pastors and church congregants, to invest in one or more of the entities he controlled while knowing the investments were not legitimate.
The alleged fraudulent investments included limited partnership investments in ventures including university housing construction, high-yield fixed income securities, oil and gas investments, mineral rights leases, and timber management. According to the allegations, Conley also provided investors with phony account statements, knowing that the balances and gains on the statements were false.
The SEC claims that Conley used the investor funds for his personal benefit, funding a lavish lifestyle including private jet rentals, luxury dining and entertainment, and making payments to earlier investors in Ponzi scheme fashion.
Conley’s FINRA BrokerCheck report shows that he has been suspended from FINRA since December 2015 for failure to comply with an arbitration award or settlement agreement or to respond satisfactorily to a FINRA request for information concerning the status of his compliance. Conley’s report discloses two additional customer disputes against him and two civil judgments.
According to FINRA’s report, Conley is currently employed by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch in Clarksburg, West Virginia and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, respectively. Conley previously worked for Wells Fargo Advisors and Citigroup Global Markets in McLean, Virginia.