A warrant for the arrest of Bradley K. Buchanan, 43, of Greencastle was issued Thursday afternoon, and Buchanan was taken into custody just before 11 a.m. today.
Buchanan is charged with Class C felony corrupt business influence (also known as racketeering) and four counts of Class D felony theft.
According to an affidavit of probable cause prepared by Indiana State Police Detective Brent Gulinson, Ronda Ankney and Nikolas Mann of the Indiana Department of Insurance met with ISP First Sgt. Scott Stockton on Oct. 30, 2008 to discuss a complaint against Buchanan their office had received.
Buchanan owned Buck Insurance, located in Bainbridge. After they received the complaint, Ankney and Mann executed a search warrant and seized records from Buchanan's office in order to conduct an audit.
The investigation turned up several instances in which Buchanan had taken payments from customers and not started insurance policies.
One of those customers was Patricia Setty of Setty's Real Estate, Cloverdale. According to the affidavit, Setty paid Buchanan $1,313 in May 2006 for an insurance policy for her business, only to discover later that the policy had never been started even though the check she wrote to Buchanan had been cashed.
"Additionally, Setty stated that Buchanan went so far as to provide her with a false policy number to make her think that she actually had an insurance policy in force when in fact she did not."
Setty told police she had operated her business for nearly a year before she became aware that it was not insured.
"She then confronted Buchanan with this and stated to him that she could have lost her business as a result of his negligence," the affidavit said. "Buchanan then met with her at her office in Cloverdale and returned her initial payment of $1,313 on or about May 7, 2007. Setty stated that she had gone one year without liability insurance, unbeknownst to her, due to Buchanan failing to purchase the policy as represented and promised even though he had cashed her check issued almost a year earlier."
Gulinson called Buchanan's actions "a practice of deceit and deception."
"Time and time again persons paid for services that were never rendered and apparently were never going to be reconciled unless discovered as in the complaint Patricia Setty made."
Gulinson noted in the affidavit that he was "in possession of the identities of numerous other potential victims in the state of Indiana as well as other states who have paid Buchanan for services only to find that they too did not have coverage, or whose checks were simply not cashed, thus leaving them without insurance when it was paid for."
No initial hearing has been set for Buchanan, so he will be in jail until at least Monday, Putnam County Jail Officer Levi Jones said.
The IDOI suspended Buchanan's insurance license on Sept. 11, 2008.
Buchanan incorporated Buck Insurance in 1991, and opened the Bainbridge office in 2008.
At the time of his license suspension, Buchanan said he was "blindsided" by the investigation.
Those who believe they may be victims of Buchanan's alleged fraud should call Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter at 653-2724.
If convicted on all counts, Buchanan could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.