Wilton man pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme

A Wilton man pled guilty in Manhattan federal court last Monday to conspiring to commit securities fraud and wire fraud.

Steven Simmons, 48, of Wilton, solicited more than $6 million in investments for a hedge fund between 2103 and January 2017, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim, but misappropriated some of these funds for his own use and knew that the hedge fund used the remainder of the funds to pay back prior investors. It was a Ponzi-like scheme.

“Steven Simmons engaged in one of the oldest frauds in the book. Using investor funds to pay back earlier investors, all while skimming funds off the top for his own personal use,” Kim said in a statement. “When investors demanded the returns promised to them, they learned that the entire investment was just a scam.”

Now Simmons must answer for his alleged crimes.

Simmons pled guilty Oct. 30 to one count of conspiracy to commit security fraud and wire fraud. The conspiracy count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. In addition, pursuant to the plea agreement, Simmons agreed to forfeit $6.9 million.

The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress. Any sentencing the defendant receives will be determined by the judge at a date set by the court.

Kim praised the work for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked the Securities and exchange Commission for its assistance.