NEW PALESTINE — A New Palestine man is facing federal charges after he stole approximately $1.2 million in an investment scheme, according to federal authorities.
Bruce Wayne Ford, 47, is charged with 11 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office Southern District of Indiana. He was arrested Friday and made an initial appearance Wednesday.
Ford used his company, Ford Financial and Insurance Services, to defraud investors through false statements and misrepresentations, according to the release. Instead of investing clients' money, he wired or transferred their money to his own accounts for personal expenses.
“Investment fraud schemes ultimately lead to the loss of innocent victims’ hard-earned money," FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan said in the release. "The victims expected the defendant to protect their future, not use their money to fund his personal lifestyle. The FBI will continue to work closely with our partner agencies to investigate these types of crime and ensure criminal activity is identified, investigated, and disrupted.”
Ford was not registered to sell securities with the Secretary of State's office, Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson said in the release.
“If one investor had checked his registration, his entire scheme would have crumbled," Lawson said in the release. "I encourage everyone to check their investor’s registration prior to exchanging any money. It’s a simple safeguard that could protect your retirement nest egg.”
Ford is facing 25 years in federal prison if convicted, Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany J. Peterson, who is prosecuting the case, says.
The FBI, Indiana Secretary of State's Office, and Greenfield Police Department detectives assisted with the investigation, according to the release.