Bradley K. Buchanan, 44, was originally charged with one count of Class C felony corrupt business influence and four counts of Class D felony theft.
At a change of plea hearing Monday in Putnam Superior Court, Buchanan admitted to taking money from Putnam County business owner in May of 2006 for the purpose of starting an insurance policy. Buchanan admitted that he never started the policy, and allowed the business owner to believe she had insurance coverage for over a year when in fact she did not.
"Mr. Buchanan pled guilty to the theft count involving Setty Real Estate Co. as the victim," Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter said. "Our other victims are either out-of-state or physically unable to testify due to illness."
Sentencing has been left up to the discretion of Judge Denny Bridges, who could impose a maximum prison sentence of three years. In court Monday, Bridges ordered a pre-sentence investigation, which will be conducted by a representative of Putnam County Adult Probation.
Buchanan was arrested on Nov. 12, 2009 as the result of a nearly yearlong investigation conducted by representatives from the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Insurance. According to court documents, the investigation was launched after the Department of Insurance received several complaints against Buchanan's company, Buck Insurance.
The investigation revealed that Buchanan had taken payments from numerous customers, then never started their insurance policies. Court records said Buchanan went so far as to provide customers with fake policy numbers.
Buchanan's insurance license was suspended on Sept. 11, 2008. He incorporated Buck Insurance in 1991, and opened the company's Bainbridge office in 2008, court records said.
At the time his license was suspended by the IDOI, Buchanan claimed to not understand why he had been investigated. He said he was "blindsided."
Initially, Buchanan pled not guilty to all charges and his bond was set at $25,000 cash only.
On Nov. 18, 2009 Bridges reduced Buchanan's bond to $25,000 with 10 percent authorized, on the condition that Buchanan be hooked up to electronic home monitoring upon his release from jail.
Ten percent of Buchanan's bond was posted the next day. According to court records, Buchanan was released from home monitoring on Feb. 3.
The motion to set a change of plea hearing was filed by Buchanan's attorney, Darrell Felling, on June 14.
Buchanan has made restitution to the owner of Setty Real Estate, Felling said.