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New Palestine man sentenced to over 4 years in prison after stealing $1.2 million in investment scheme

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Jun 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-08 16:09:05-04

NEW PALESTINE — A New Palestine man has been sentenced to 51 months in prison after he stole approximately $1.2 million in an investment scheme, according to federal authorities.

Bruce Ford, 50, pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Indiana.

According to court documents, Ford was licensed as an insurance broker in Indiana beginning in 2008.

From January 2013 through December 2018, Ford stole $1.2 million from at least 10 victims through a fraudulent investment and Ponzi scheme.

Ford used his company, Ford Financial and Insurance Services, to defraud investors through false statements and misrepresentations, according to the release. Instead of investing client's money, he wired or transferred their money to his own accounts for personal expenses.

To induce his clients to invest with his company, Ford falsely made them believe he was a financial advisor and promised them through misleading claims that he could provide higher returns on their investments, officials say.

Some of Ford's victims were already retired or were approaching retirement and were left to suffer substantial financial hardship.

According to the press release, Ford concealed his scheme for five years through Ponzi-scheme type payments.

In total, Ford fraudulently obtained $1,264,208 from his victims.

“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,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers said.

Ford must also be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from prison. He was also ordered to pay $1,089,708 in restitution.