Chief Operating Officer And Vice President Of International Cargo Airline Plead Guilty To Defrauding Their Employer
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James Smith, the Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced that DERRICK HODGE and ISAAC BRIGGS III have been charged with running an investment fraud scheme through which they defrauded investors of approximately $7 million and misappropriated over $1.5 million of investor funds for personal use. HODGE and BRIGGS III were arrested today. BRIGGS III will be presented today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and HODGE will be presented today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Derrick Hodge and Isaac Briggs III solicited millions of dollars of victim investments based on false promises of outsized returns. Instead of using those funds to generate profits for investors, as promised, Hodge and Briggs III allegedly took those investments for themselves, using investor funds to pay for personal travel, entertainment, and luxury fashion purchases. As we’ve shown time and time again, this Office will be tireless in prosecuting those who misappropriate investor funds to line their own pockets.”
FBI Assistant Director in Charge James Smith said: “For more than three years, Hodge and Briggs allegedly misled and deceived their victims out of more than seven million in investment funds, which they used in part for their own personal expenses. Investment fraud schemes not only can ruin a victim’s life savings, but also erode the public’s faith in our financial institutions. The FBI will continue to ensure that unscrupulous actors attempting to swindle investors are brought to justice.”
As alleged in the Complaint:
From at least October 2020 through at least in or about November 2023, DERRICK HODGE and ISAAC BRIGGS III operated an investment fraud scheme that defrauded at least seven victims of at least $7 million. HODGE and BRIGGS III operated this fraudulent scheme through their operation of the Heritage Integrity Investment Trust (“HIIT”). HODGE and BRIGGS III falsely represented that victim funds would be invested in HIIT’s private placement trading program that would provide a return of five times the initial investment.
HODGE and BRIGGS III did not invest victim funds in any trading program. Instead, HODGE and BRIGGS III transferred their victims’ investments through intermediary accounts to their personal accounts and used them to make payments for personal expenses such as food, travel, entertainment, and luxury goods.
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HODGE, 52, of Avondale, Louisiana, and BRIGGS III, 52, of Somerset, New Jersey, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. BRIGGS III is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a statutory mandatory penalty of two years in prison, which must run consecutively to any other prison term.
The maximum potential penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.
This case is being supervised by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney William C. Kinder is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth herein constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.