INDIANAPOLIS- (June 19, 2024) –Brian Simms, of Lebanon, Indiana, was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on one count of felony wire fraud. Simms pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud were dismissed as part of the plea agreement entered into with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

During the course of the investigation by the Indiana Securities Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, investigators found that Simms was offering investment opportunities though his company, Brendanwood Financial Brokerage LLC. Simms was not licensed to sell securities nor registered to provide financial advising services.

Simms made materially false and fraudulent claims, representations, and promises to victim investors to induce them to cash out and liquidate their traditional and long-term insurance products and investments, i.e., annuities, 401(k) retirement savings and life insurance policies; and reinvest the funds they cashed out or liquidated with him at Brendanwood.

Simms used some of the victim investors’ funds for his own personal expenditures. Simms also misappropriated victim investors’ money to make limited, Ponzi-type payments to other victim investors. Simms mislead the victim investors to believe that payments he made to them represented returns on proper investments, when they were in fact funds misappropriated from other victim investors. In total, Simms misappropriated more than $3.9 million from victim investors.

Simms was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison with three years of supervised release. In addition, Simms was ordered to pay over $2.6 million in restitution to the victims.

Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales would like to highlight the collaboration between the law enforcement partners who investigated this case, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorneys Office of Indianapolis.

“Simms’s sentence reflects the ongoing efforts of collaboration between law enforcement agencies to protect Hoosier investors. The Securities Division will continue to work with our partner agencies to investigate these types of crime and ensure investment fraud is investigated and disrupted,” said Diego Morales, Indiana Secretary of State.

If you have questions or concerns about your investments or financial professional, please contact the Indiana Securities Division at 317-232-6681.