Bryan Binkholder, 43, Wentzville, Missouri, was sentenced to 108 months in prison on multiple fraud charges involving his financial planning and investment strategy businesses. In addition to the prison sentence, he was also ordered to pay $3,655,980 restitution to the victims.
According to court documents, Binkholder labeled himself “The Financial Coach” and provided investment and financial planning advice to the general public through his affiliated websites, YouTube channel, published books and articles and an investment related talk-radio show that aired on local radio stations. In 2008, he developed a real estate investment he termed “hard money lending.”
Using his platform as an investment advisor and financial talk show host, Binkholder solicited his clients and others to invest in the hard money lending program. As part of his sales pitch he represented that he had relationships with developers in the real estate community who wanted to purchase, renovate and sell residential real estate in the St. Louis area, but were not able to secure financing from traditional banks.
As part of the hard money lending program, Binkholder told investors that they would invest money with him, and he would act as a bank and provide short term loans to these developers at a high rate of interest which would be shared with the investor. Instead of exclusively making hard money loans as promised, he used Binkholder took in millions of dollars of investor money, made only a small number of hard money loans and caused investors to lose more than $3,000,000.
Binkholder pled guilty in January 2015 to four felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of bank fraud, and appeared for sentencing before United States District Judge Ronald L. White.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Postal Inspection Service and Missouri Secretary of State Securities Division. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Casey handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.