INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana man that stole $1.2 million from clients has been sentenced after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, according to a press release sent from the United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana.
50-year-old Bruce Ford, of Centerpoint, was sentenced to exactly 51 months, or just over four years, in federal prison after stealing from January of 2013 – Dec. of 2018 through a fraudulent investment and Ponzi scheme. There are at least 10 directly impacted victims from his crimes.
Ford, who was a licensed insurance broker, encouraged his clients to cash out their retirements and other investment accounts. Rather than invest the funds in real estate and business ventures as promised, Ford transferred the money to his own personal accounts. He paid off his credit card debts and purchased a plethora of different items including a mobile-home, land, and a car.
“This defendant took advantage of the trust of Hoosier workers and retirees to steal the hard-earned savings intended to provide for the retirements they’d planned,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “Crooks operating Ponzi schemes under the guise of providing financial services must be identified and held accountable for their crimes. The sentence imposed today is the result of our commitment—together with the FBI, Indiana’s Securities Division and all of our law enforcement partners—to protect investors from fraud.”
Many of the victims were already retired or approaching retirement age.
Ford stole exactly $1,264,208.13 from clients.