Press release from the District Attorney’s Office:
District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that on September 24, 2020, Judge Christopher Wilson sentenced former insurance broker, John Ray James Ford, to five years of formal probation and 90 days in jail. Mr. Ford pled guilty to violating Penal Code Section 503, felony embezzlement.
A client and the client’s attorney first reported misappropriation of funds by Mr. Ford to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). The HCSO, Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office, and the California Department of Insurance then collaborated on an investigation.
The investigation revealed that in 2016, Mr. Ford had contracted with various clients, including cannabis-related businesses, to broker insurance policies on their behalf. After receiving premium payments from clients, he either did not put coverage in place or established policies that were subsequently cancelled by the insurer for non-payment. Mr. Ford used the payments from clients for his own business and personal expenses.
Mr. Ford’s sentence includes an order to make restitution to all victims.