Indiana Secretary of State’s Securities Division aid in Ponzi Scheme investigation, man sentenced for stealing more than $1.2 million from clients

INDIANAPOLIS – Bruce Wayne Ford, 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 in the U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana.

In April 2012, Ford incorporated Ford Financial & Insurance Services (“FFIS”) with an office in Greenfield, Indiana.  An investigation began when several clients of FFIS reported to multiple law enforcement agencies that they believed they were victims of fraud.  The investigation revealed that Ford had devised a scheme to defraud investors to obtain money.  After Ford had induced clients to invest in FFIS, Ford misappropriated the investors’ funds for his own purposes, including paying personal expenses on his credit cards and purchasing various goods, services, a mobile home, land, and a vehicle. 

At times, Ford misappropriated investors’ funds to make Ponzi-type payments of returns to investors or to conceal that their principal investment had been misappropriated by Ford.  When Ford made payments to investors or disguised his misappropriation of their principal investment by temporarily depositing funds into their accounts, he did so by using funds that he had obtained from other investors, without disclosing the nature of those payment to investors.  According to court documents, Ford stole from at least ten victims. He was ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution to victims.

“This case reflects the ongoing efforts to protect Hoosier investors.  The Securities Division will continue to work with our partner agencies to investigate these types of crimes and ensure criminal activity is investigated and disrupted.  These criminals deserve to be held accountable,” said Indiana Secretary of State Diego Morales.

This investigation highlights a collaborative effort between law enforcement partners including the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Indianapolis, and the Greenfield Police Department.

“Ford was not registered to sell securities with the Secretary of State’s Office, which is required by law. I encourage everyone to check their investor’s registration prior to exchanging money.  It’s a simple safeguard that could protect your retirement nest egg,” said Securities Commissioner, Marie Castetter.

If you have questions or concerns about your investments or a financial professional, please visit The Indiana Securities Division website or call 317-232-6681.