On May 17, 2021, a FINRA arbitration panel issued an award in favor of customer Donna Wagner in a securities arbitration against Brokers International Financial Services, LLC and former broker Mark Christopher Perry. Brokers International Financial Services and Mr. Perry (the “Respondents”) were held jointly and severally liable for $795,929 in compensatory damages. The Respondents were also ordered to pay post-judgment interest at a rate of 8%, beginning 30 days after the issuance of the Award.
Ms. Wagner filed a securities arbitration claim in December 2019, seeking approximately $1.34 million in actual damages. The Statement of Claim alleged that Mr. Perry, while registered with Brokers International Financial Services, was also the President of Brendanwood Financial Brokerage, an insurance brokerage firm in Carmel, Indiana. The claim alleged that Brokers International Financial Services and Mr. Perry allowed Brian Simms, CEO of both Brendanwood Financial Brokerage and Brendanwood Financial Services, to use the company as a conduit to obtain funds from Mr. Wagner and convert those funds for his own personal use. According to the claim, Mr. Perry, who was responsible for its operations oversight, appears to be complicit in the actions of Mr. Simms.
According to public reports, Ms. Wagner also filed a lawsuit on December 2, 2019, in Hamilton Circuit Court against Brian Simms. The lawsuit alleged that Mr. Simms relied on Brian Simms after the 2017 death of her husband, Michael Wagner. Mr. Simms allegedly assisted Ms. Wagner in making death benefit claims on life insurance policies through North American Company for Life and Health Insurance and the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and then convinced her to vest the proceeds in additional insurance, annuities, and investments. The lawsuit alleges in total, $1,342,482 of Ms. Wagner’s assets are missing and unaccounted for or misappropriated by Mr. Simms and Brendanwood.