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ORLANDO-New York lawyer James P. Conroy, part of a team of 24 professionals associated with the former, Orlando-based Evergreen Security Ltd. in an alleged 10-year, $214 million, mortgage securities scam involving 2,203 global investors, faces up to 25 years of prison time when he comes up for sentencing July 15 in New York State Supreme Court.

If Conroy receives the maximum sentence, it would be the stiffest penalty yet in the 28-month-old ongoing investigation, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records in Orlando. Six managers and equity partners in Evergreen have received lighter sentences in lieu of returning a small portion of the alleged stolen funds.

According to court records, Conroy is alleged to have directly advised Evergreen owner William J. Zylka of New Vernon, NJ in the scheme. Investors believed they were putting their money into U.S. government mortgage-backed securities that would return an annual interest rate of 9% to 12%, documents filed by court-appointed trustee R. W. “Bill” Cuthill allege.

Zylka, previously committed, faces six to 18 years in prison for his alleged theft of $27.7 million, the largest in the scheme. Zylka and his associates, working out of an office at Capital Plaza in Downtown Orlando, are accused of pulling off the second largest scam in Florida history, next only to the 1985 ESM Government Securities Fund fraud that bilked private investors, public institutions and government entities of $315 million, according to Bankruptcy Court records.

Seventy-six brokers and 15 companies are being sued by Cuthill, who, at one time, projected he would recover a total $25 million of the missing money. That figure has been lowered to about $2 million because most of the cash has been spent by the accused, real estate lawyers following the case tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity. Cuthill represents the investors.

The Boston-based Evergreen Investments family of mutual funds, owned by Wachovia Corp. of Winston-Salem, NC, is not associated or related to Evergreen Security Ltd., formerly of Orlando and the British Virgin Islands, according to court records.

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