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Press Release

Insurance Broker Sentenced to over 4 Years in Federal Prison for Stealing More Than $1.2 Million from Clients’ Investment Accounts Through Ponzi Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS- Bruce Ford, 50, of Centerpoint, Indiana has been sentenced to 51 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to five counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

According to court documents, Ford was licensed as an insurance broker in Indiana beginning in 2008. From January 1, 2013, through December of 2018, Ford stole approximately $1.2 million from at least ten victims through a fraudulent investment and Ponzi scheme.

On April 5, 2012, Ford created Ford Financial and Insurance Services. Through his company, Ford promoted investment services to current and former insurance clients and others despite the fact that he had not register himself or his company with the Indiana Securities Division, as required by law. 

As part of his scheme and in order to induce his current and former insurance clients to invest with his company, Ford falsely held himself out to be a financial advisor and promised clients through false and misleading claims and omissions that he could provide higher returns on their investments than they would otherwise yield from their traditional and long-term investment products such as Individual Retirement Accounts and 401ks. 

Ford induced his clients to cash out their retirement and other investment accounts and transfer the funds to Self-Directed Individual Retirement Accounts (SDIRA).  Rather than invest the funds in real estate and business ventures as promised, Ford transferred the victims’ investment money out of their SDIRAs to his own personal bank accounts, and used the stolen money for his own purposes, including to pay his personal credit cards, and to purchase goods, services, a mobile-home, land, and a recreational vehicle.  Some of Fords’ victims were already retired or were approaching retirement and were left to suffer substantial financial hardship. 

Ford concealed his scheme for five years through Ponzi-scheme type payments—using funds wrongfully taken from some investors to pay purported returns to others.

In total, Ford fraudulently obtained $1,264,208.13 from his victims.

United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office made the announcement.

“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.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Indiana Secretary of State Securities Division investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James R. Sweeney. Judge Sweeney also ordered that Ford be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison. Ford was also ordered to pay $1,089,708.13 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany J. Preston, who prosecuted this case.


Updated June 8, 2023

Financial Fraud
Securities, Commodities, & Investment Fraud