Judge Denny Bridges sentenced Bradley K. Buchanan, 44, to three years on home detention.
The state asked for two-and-a-half years executed. Buchanan will receive credit for 50 days he spent in jail following his arrest.
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. The investigation was launched after the IDOI received several complaints against Buchanan's company, Buck Insurance.
The investigation revealed that Buchanan had taken payments from numerous customers but 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.
Buchanan 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 in November, Buchanan pled guilty to one Class D felony count.
One of Buchanan's former clients, Patricia Setty, took the stand at Buchanan's sentencing. She said she had insured her home and real estate business through Buchanan, but took her business elsewhere when Buchanan gave her the runaround when she asked for policy numbers and declarations pages.
Setty said she gave Buchanan a check for $1,313 as payment for her policies, and that on May 7, 2007 he presented her with a personal check for the same amount.
"He asked me to endorse it to pay for another year's coverage," Setty said. "I didn't endorse anything, but I did take the check from him."
Felling asked Setty if she negotiated that check -- which he described as an insurance premium "that apparently did not get processed correctly."
"I didn't negotiate nothing," Setty said. "I figured I was taking back what was mine to begin with."
Setty said the IDOI contacted her about Buchanan's possible criminal activity, and that she assisted them because she felt Buchanan had wronged her.
"He almost cost me my insurability," Setty said. "It's just like if you went to McDonald's and paid for a cup of coffee and didn't get it, you wouldn't be happy."
Sgt. Scott Stockton of the Indiana State Police said there were other victims in the case, but they were from out of state and "had no interest in pursuing" action against Buchanan.
Buchanan now works as a mechanic at his father Joseph's business, Buck Sports Motors. He said he was aware that his son had been having some "bookkeeping problems" with his insurance business "due to some of the help he had in the office."
"He's really worried about all of this," Joseph Buchanan said in court Tuesday. "His demeanor has softened quite a bit."
Joseph Buchanan also said jail time for his son would cause "undue hardship" on Bradley Buchanan's two children.
"I think he's learned his lesson," Joseph Buchanan said.