July 17, 2024

Diego Morales, an adviser to previous Indiana governor Mike Pence, addresses a citizen naturalization ceremony. Morales is mediating criticism about his job performance while also doubting the 2020 presidential election. 

A resident of Indiana, LEBANON (WTWO/WAWV), is obliged to repay a large sum to investors after being proven guilty of wire fraud, related to a Ponzi scheme.

Brian Simms from Lebanon, Indiana, was denounced after admitting guilt to a single count of wire fraud. Out of seven counts Simms was initially charged with, he admitted his guilt only to one as part of a plea bargain. The court sentences Simms to 90 months in federal prison and three years of supervised relief. Furthermore, Simms is ordered to reimburse his victims over $2.6 million.

The Indiana Securities division, in cooperation with the FBI, conducted the investigation. They discovered that Simms was offering investment opportunities through Brendanwood Financial Brokerage LLC, despite lacking a license to sell securities or registered to provide financial advice.

Simms would mislead his victims with false promises, enticing them to liquidate their annuities, retirement savings, and life insurance policies to reinvest with his company. He would then misuse these funds for personal expenses and pay other victims small amounts to give an illusion of return on their investments. Simms accumulated over $3.9 million in total from his victims.

Diego Morales, Indiana Secretary of State, commented on the case, stating that Simms’s sentencing reflects continuous collaboration amongst law enforcement agencies in safeguarding Hoosier investors. The Securities Division commits to persisting their cooperation with partner agencies to investigate and disrupt financial fraud.

Should you have questions and concerns about your investments or a financial professional, you can reach out to the Indiana Securities Division at 317-232-6681.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is wire fraud?

Wire fraud involves the use of telecommunications or information technology to defraud someone of property or financial assets. This includes deceptive schemes conducted through the internet, email, phone, or other forms of communication.

What happens to the money that Brian Simms is ordered to repay?

The $2.6 million that Simms is ordered to repay is meant to compensate his victims. The amount each victim receives may vary based on their initial investment and the legal proceedings.

What is a Ponzi scheme?

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam that generates returns for earlier investors using money taken from later investors. This scam convinces new participants to invest based on the promise of unusually high returns.