Hancock county man charged with stealing approximately $1.2 million
Defrauded clients in securities and investment fraud scheme
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Bruce Wayne Ford, 47, New Palestine, Indiana, has been charged with eleven counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
“The financial investors in this case placed their hard earned money into the hands of someone whom they thought they could trust, oftentimes the majority of their life savings,” said Minkler. “Instead, the victim’s money fell into the hands of a thief who cares about no one but himself and his interests. Justice will prevail and hopefully restore some trust back to the victims.”
Ford, was arrested at his home Friday, September 11, 2020, and had his initial appearance on September 16, 2020 in the federal courthouse in Indianapolis. Through his company, Ford Financial and Insurance Services, he devised a scheme to defraud his investors by means of materially false statements and misrepresentations. As alleged in the Complaint, rather than invest his clients’ money as promised, Ford wired or transferred investor funds to Ford’s financial accounts to use for his own personal expenditures.
Ford’s illegal scheme to steal his clients’ investment funds was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Indiana Secretary of State’s office, and the Greenfield Police Department.
“Investment fraud schemes ultimately lead to the loss of innocent victims’ hard-earned money. The victims expected the defendant to protect their future, not use their money to fund his personal lifestyle,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “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, a basic requirement,” said Secretary of State Connie Lawson. “If one investor had checked his registration, his entire scheme would have crumbled. 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.”
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Ford faces up to 25 years’ in federal prison if convicted of the charges.
An Indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the Office’s firm commitment to investigate and prosecute complex, large-scale fraud schemes that warrant federal resources and expertise, particularly those that exploit vulnerable victims, abuse positions of trust, undermine faith in the markets, pilfer public programs, or are perpetrated by career fraudsters.(See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 5.1)