CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – A Florida man, who was indicted on federal fraud charges, for scheming West Virginians and others out of nearly $5 million, has admitted to a fraud charge, Acting U.S. Attorney Randolph Bernard announced.

Phillip Conley, 38 of Jacksonville, pleaded guilty to one count of “Securities Fraud.” Conley admitted to scheming approximately 18 individuals in excess of $5 million from 2014 to 2019. The victims were from all over the United States, including West Virginia and Maryland.

Phillip Conley

Conley operated a company by the name of Alpax, LLC, portraying himself as an investment advisor living and working out of Morgantown and Kingwood, Washington, D.C., and Virginia. He developed a scheme to defraud investors by convincing the victims to give him and his companies money for him to invest for returns for the victims. He gave the victims a false sense of security by mailing them false dividend statements, claiming a positive rate of return for their investments. Conley fraudulently obtained approximately $5.2 million dollars from 18 victims, but invested little or none of that money and spent much of it on private jet flights, expensive meals, clothes, jewelry, housing and living expenses for himself, returning only about $210,000 to the victims.

Conley faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $5 million.

As a part of the plea agreement, Conley agreed to the forfeiture of any property purchased from the proceeds of the crimes, including a monetary judgement of $4,868,744.60.

The FBI investigated the case.FBI

Conley is being held in the Central Regional Jail pending his federal sentencing.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael John Aloi presided over Conley’s plea hearing.