TACOMA, Wash. -- The man accused of preying on churchgoers under the guise of helping the faithful faced one of his alleged victims on Monday.
Stone Phillips, who is charged with 19 counts of securities fraud, forgery, theft and identity theft, listened in a Pierce County courtroom as Emanuel McAuley took the stand.
McAuley identified Phillips as the man who took his life savings after he and his wife met him at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Tacoma.
"He came and presented a seminar," McAuley said.
The prosecution contends Phillips used his seminars to target unsophisticated investors at churches in Pierce and King counties.
KOMO News obtained video of a 2002 seminar at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle. The footage shows Phillips calling his company Northwest Financial Solutions. However, Philips was never licensed to sell securities or give financial advice. Jurors were shown a similar video last week.
McAuley said Phillips' seminar convinced him to invest his retirement savings of $88,902.59. He added he and his wife trusted Phillips to sell their Tacoma home when they moved to North Carolina in 2000. McAuley said he never got any money from the sale of his home.
The defense tried to establish that Mcauley understood the risks of investing, and that he knowingly gave away his home.
But evidence admitted Monday includes a copy of a legal document that transferred the McAuley's home to Phillips and his wife at the time. The document was signed in Federal Way when the Mcauleys were in North Carolina. Mcauley said the signature on the document is not his.
At least six more prosecution witnesses will take the stand to tell similar stories. The prosecution will also call in an investigator with the state Department of Financial Institutions, which was also involved in the case against Phillips.