FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Trial is scheduled to get underway Monday for a Ft. Lauderdale man who is accused of running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors claim 69-year old George Elia preyed on Wilton Manors’ gay community. From October 2004 until 2011, Elia and his alleged partners raked in $9.5 million, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Elia created phony paperwork for investors who thought he was a financial pro, according to prosecutors.  With that he allegedly duped them into believing they would get high returns on investments if they went through his company International Consultants & Investment Group Ltd. Corp.

Investigators found Elia diverted $2.5 million in investor money to businesses either he or his wife owned. Another $3 million went to James Ellis who prosecutors say recruited clients for Elia.

Ellis, who pleaded guilty last month to a single count of wire fraud, is scheduled to testify against Elia who is facing 10 fraud related charges.

The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report


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