Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn on Thursday charged a Rockville Centre man with bilking five people of more than $440,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme that began more than two years ago.

Defendant Patrick Schiro was charged with securities fraud for making misrepresentations about the size of his fund and its performance, and then spending the money investors gave him on college tuition for one of his children, cash withdrawals and personal expenses ranging from Amazon to restaurants.

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Prosecutors said Schiro had been convicted of securities fraud before. Federal court records in Manhattan indicate he was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2006.

Schiro was detained without bail Thursday after a brief hearing in Brooklyn. His lawyer declined to comment.