Reality show bounty hunter arrested for allegedly embezzling $18k


Orange County CA Feb 28 2015 A reality show bounty hunter was arrested today for allegedly stealing $18,000 from a woman who bailed her son out of jail.
According to Roxi Fyad of Orange County District Attorney’s Office, a woman identified only as Joan S. contacted a bail bonds company in connection with her son’s arrest on Feb. 8, 2013, and consequently met Arturo Alfred Torres.
Torres and a bail agent bailed out the woman’s son and then drove him to his mother’s home in Orange County where Torres demanded a $20,000 check be made out to him personally, Fyad said.
Torres accepted the check from the woman and deposited the money into his account, Fyad said.
No charges were filed against the woman’s son and on March 21, 2013, his bail was exonerated. Torres is accused of refusing to return the money to the woman, despite her repeated attempts to have it returned, Fyad said.
The woman reported to the theft to the California Department of Insurance on Feb. 13, 2014, which investigated the case, said Nancy Kincaid, the department’s press secretary.
Torres might have been entitled to keep $2,000 of the $20,000, so he was accused of embezzling $18,000, Kincaid said.
Torres was arrested in his Winnetka home today.
If convicted of a felony count of grand theft by embezzlement, the 52- year-old Torres could face a jail sentence of up to three years, Fyad said.
Torres appeared on the reality show “Bounty Wars” on Discovery.
“Torres’ alleged theft of more than $18,000 from an innocent victim is reprehensible,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Licensed bail agents and bounty hunters have an obligation to follow the letter of the law and I will bring to justice those that do not.”

Bounty Hunter Admits Role in Conspiracy, Bribery Scheme


Jersey City NJ Jan 111 2015 New Jersey authorities say a bounty hunter has admitted his role in a scheme to have sheriff’s officers sign false documents so he could collect additional fees by claiming to capture fugitives who had already been apprehended.
Acting state Attorney General John Hoffman says 50-year-old Adel Mikhaeil, a former Jersey City resident who now lives in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty Wednesday to eleven counts, including conspiracy, bribery and official misconduct.
The pleas came as Mikhaeil was about to stand trial, and he now faces a lengthy prison term when he’s sentenced Feb. 9. Hoffman said it was an open plea, meaning his office didn’t agree to recommend a particular sentence.
Mikhaeil paid the two sheriff’s officers for their assistance. Both have pleaded guilty to official misconduct and are awaiting sentencing.
Hoffman said Mikhaeil conspired with the officers to have them sign false “body receipts,” indicating that he had caught fugitives, when they had already been arrested by law enforcement. As a result, Mikhaeil collected higher fees from the insurance companies that insured the fugitives’ bail bonds.
Bounty hunters receive a fee for a “paper transfer” when they locate a fugitive who is already in custody, but that fee is lower than the amount they would get for a physical apprehension.
The false body receipts also led to a reduction in the amount of bail forfeited, resulting in savings for the bail bond insurers but a loss to the counties where the fugitive jumped bail and the state, which divide forfeited funds.
Mikhaeil also admitted paying bribes to an insurance company executive and an employee of a company that locates fugitives for bail bond insurers in return for giving him more business.

Shreveport bail agent arrested for shooting at fleeing suspect


Justin Avery (Source: Shreveport Police Department)
SHREVEPORT, LA Jan 8 2015           
A bail bonds agent is behind bars after a shooting in west Shreveport.
Police were called to the 2700 block of Hollywood Avenue just before 11:00 Monday night on reports of gunshots being fired in the area.
When officers arrived, they found out that two men allegedly working for a bail bonding agency had reportedly been chasing a wanted suspect when at least one of the men fired a shot at the suspect. Authorities detained the two bonding agents as well as the suspect they were after.
Responding officers seized a shotgun. No one was injured but police say the suspect’s car was damaged.
Detectives arrested 27-year-old Justin Avery and charged him with one count of illegal use of a weapon.
James Mayo, 33, was also arrested on two outstanding warrants, one for domestic abuse battery and the other for criminal property damage.
Both men were booked into the Shreveport City Jail.

Louisiana jail refuses to take bounter hunter’s prisoner


CHALMETTE, La. Dec 10 2014A man wanted in St. Bernard Parish on numerous outstanding warrants was captured in Alabama over the weekend by a bounty hunter, but when the fugitive recovery agent brought the suspect back to Southeast Louisiana, he claims jail officials refused to take the defendant.
“We sat there for like two hours trying to figure out why they weren’t taking him,” said Wayne Lozier.
Lozier with Bayou Boys Fugitive Recovery is a hired bounty hunter, tasked with locating wanted fugitives and ensuring they make their court appearance, in turn he receives a monetary reward from the courts.
On Saturday Lozier and his partner traveled to Alabama and captured Edward Dotson, wanted for felony domestic abuse and other attachments out of St. Bernard. Lozier claims jail officials in St. Bernard refused to give him a proper explanation as to why they couldn’t take Dotson into custody.
“We left with so many questions,” said Lozier. “And with Dotson, he’s dangerous to the community, he’s dangerous to anybody and they just wouldn’t take him.”

After making some phone calls, the New Orleans Police Department agreed to arrest Dotson and take him into custody, only to transfer him to St. Bernard Parish the next day where he was booked on numerous attachments.
According to a jail spokesperson, they refused to take Dotson initially, because he didn’t have the proper paperwork following a supposed seizure he suffered during transport, and because, at the time, he appeared to be under the influence.

“Claimed he had a seizure in my vehicle, so we had to stop at Slidell Memorial Hospital where the doctors there cleared him and said he was faking his illness,” Lozier said.
Correctional facilities do have some discretion when it comes to accepting or denying inmates, that includes, medical. But bail bondsman Steve Donnes with Statewide Bail Bonds said those reasons are becoming the norm, rather than the exception.
“We’re then in jeopardy, we’ve transported a man across two states, what do you do with him, he’s a wanted felon?” Donnes said.

Donnes said the truth is, the system is broken and fugitives like Dotson are being allowed to “slip through the cracks” and avoid prosecution.
“If we don’t go hunt them down, who will?” said Donnes.
According to Statewide Bail Bonds there are approximately 100,000 unserved warrants out of Orleans Parish and another 80,000 in Jefferson.
In 2010, New Orleans Police Chief Ronal Serpas said the majority of unserved warrants were for relatively minor matters, such as unpaid traffic tickets and the departments warrant division was all but dissolved.

TN bail enforcement agents arrested for home invasion-kidnapping in GA



GWINNETT COUNTY GA Nov 25 2014— We’ve all seen television programs depicting bail bond agents tracking down fugitives on the run in an attempt to collect rewards.
Two Tennessee bond agents went way too far in pursuit of a fugitive…and over a traffic citation.
Kevin Roberson and Khalil Abdullah, both of Tennessee, were put in jail Monday after Gwinnett County police reported the two men kicked down the door of a Gwinnett County resident, held the occupants hostage at gunpoint, then kidnapped the wife of their fugitive suspect.  The fugitive was was wanted in Ashland City, TN for failing to appear on a traffic charge.
Police said the two men forcibly entered the home on Castlebrooke Way near Lawrenceville around 10:40 Sunday morning.  As the bond agents entered the house, the fugitive jumped out a window and fled.
The agents then searched the house and located the fugitive’s wife, who they handcuffed and took away in a pickup, according to Gwinnett police.
Police were called and arrived on the scene, prompting the agents to return.  They then told officers they were charging the fugitive’s wife with harboring and obstruction.  As the officers interviewed family members, the agents left again with the woman still in their custody.
Gwinnett Police quickly located the pickup truck and freed the woman.
The bond agents were arrested and charged, pending further investigation, with home invasion, kidnapping and false imprisonment.  Family members had video records of the event via their cellphones, so authorities have left open the possibility of additional charges.
Meanwhile, the fugitive is still at large as of late Sunday.

NY men arrested for operating as bounty hunters in NJ without license

CARLSTADT NJ Sept 12 2014 — Three employees of a New York-based private investigation firm were charged with working as bounty hunters without a license after they tried to serve warrants in Carlstadt late Tuesday, police said.

Authorities launched a search after a resident told police four men, including one with a dog, knocked on the door of her 2nd Street home around 11 p.m., according to police Chief Thomas Nielsen. One of the men reportedly tried to open a window screen at her house before they took off.

A short time later, three men stopped in minivan at a Route 17 gas station and told an East Rutherford police officer they were bounty hunters who were trying to apprehend a 2nd Street resident, Nielsen said in a statement.

Though the men had paperwork confirming New York warrants for the resident were valid, the offenses did not authorize extradition and weren’t enforceable in New Jersey, Nielsen added. Authorities did not disclose the nature of the warrants.

The three — James Carrion Sr., 45, of Kresgeville, Pennsylvania, Thomas Avila, 42, of Poughkeepsie, New York, and James Carrion Jr., 25, of New York City — were each charged with acting as a bounty hunter without proper license, police said. They were released ahead of a Sept. 19 court date.

The trio were all employed by Garden City, New York-based Grid Investigations, according to police. The firm could not be immediately reached for comment.

“Additional charges may develop depending on further investigation being conducted by the Carlstadt Criminal Investigation Unit,” the chief said.

Bondsman on the hook for $110K after felon goes AWOL

Lancaster PA Aug 27 2014 A local bail bondsman is out $110,000 after his client, a convicted felon, skipped trial and the bondsman didn’t bother to find him.              JUDGE: Local bondsman on the hook for $110K after felon goes AWOL

Lancaster County Judge Margaret Miller made the ruling at a hearing last week regarding Dante Seals skipping his Aug. 4 trial date over felony weapons charges and fleeing police.Seals, 25, was free since January when bondsman Sylvester “Casey” Jones posted $110,000 cash bail on six felonies and related, lesser counts.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, consisting of local sheriff deputies and other law-enforcement officials, nabbed Seals Aug. 19 at a Manheim Township hotel.

Jones, according to Judge Miller’s ruling, made no effort to find his client.

The task force located Seals after receiving tips on his whereabouts, according to Assistant District Attorney Amber Czerniakowski.

Bondsmen are required to search for a client that skips a court date and becomes a fugitive.

Bondsmen post bail for defendants who can’t on their own. In turn, the defendant pays the bondsman an interest sum.

A bond essentially guarantees that a defendant out on bail will show up for court.

Local prosecutors said it’s common practice for bondsmen to request back the bail they posted — even when the defendant flees. And they often get it back, prosecutors said.

That wasn’t the case Thursday in Judge Miller’s courtroom.

Jones asked her to return the cash posted; she refused.

Miller noted in court that Jones made no efforts to find Seals and only asked for his money back after the task force made the arrest, officials said.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said he hopes the ruling will prompt bondsmen to take action when a client — in this case, a previously-convicted felon — goes AWOL.

“Bondsmen have obligations which go along with money they receive,” Stedman said. “But, for many years, they have only rarely been held accountable when the defendant fails to appear.”

Seals’ bond is believed to be one of the largest forfeitures here in recent history.

“Hopefully, this ruling will lead to closer scrutiny of the cases (bondsmen) are willing to take, as well as improved court effiency,” Stedman said.

Attempts to reach Jones weren’t successful.

Also in court last week, Miller raised Seals’ bail to $2 million. A new trial date hasn’t been set.

Regarding Seals’ charges, he is accused of having a loaded, .40-caliber pistol in July 2013 that was reported stolen the previous month.

Seals allegedly ran from Lancaster city Police officers when they were called to a home on East Walnut Street July 12, 2013, for a domestic dispute, court documents show. Seals also had a chrome revolver, documents show.

He has a prior felony conviction in Baltimore, Md. for drug-dealing which prohibits him from possesing firearms, according to city police Lt. Todd Umstead.

Trenton bounty hunter stays a step ahead of new bail rules


 — Veteran private eye and bounty hunter Robert Clark is ready for New Jersey’s new bail rules with technology for tracking a suspect’s every move between arrest and appearance in court.
Clark is convinced the answer to jails clogged with non-violent types awaiting trial is letting them out wearing monitoring devices that tell on them if they break release rules set by a bail bondsman or the courts.
He started Offender Management Solutions earlier this year to be on the cutting edge of America’s new ideas for saving incarceration costs while also making sure bailed-out suspects show in court when required.
“The most effective way to get defendants into court is a combination of work by bail bondsmen and electronic monitoring,’’ said Clark.
He clicked a listing on the GPS monitor in his Hamilton office and up came an aerial view of a street: “There, that guy is right where he’s supposed to be now, in drug rehab.’’
Tracking devices made the suspect an arrow that moved from rehab to job to home, as required by the terms of his release on bail.
Clark also put on the screen the 1,000-foot circle around the home of a domestic violence victim and said if her attacker shows in the green area on the map, cops will pounce.
“And the beauty of this is it doesn’t cost the taxpayers anything,’’ said Clark, who already has several bailed-out suspects he’s checking on all the time in a variety of ways, including a cell phone with an app that alerts him if someone goes astray.
The suspects have to pay for his services as well as daily fees for the use of the SCRAM System monitors for tracking suspect movements, as well as alcohol use by those under court order to quit drinking.
One booze device is worn on the hip. Every time it buzzes, the wearer has 20 minutes to blow into the device, which also takes a picture and has face recognition. Another constantly measures for alcohol and drugs by reading ankle sweat and sending the information back to the Big Brother backing their freedom.
GPS to keep convicts, particularly juveniles, under house arrest has been judicial practice for at least 20 years. It is only so effective.
One such device showed a teenager leaving his Trenton house, for instance, and walking to where he’s accused of shooting and killing a gang rival.
Clark said state juvenile authorities were monitoring the teen, Tahj Law, who was 15 when he allegedly killed Devahje Bing, 19, in May 2013. But he noted that authorities did end up with evidence from the device that can be used in court against Law.
Starting out as a bondsman with Trenton’s AAA Bail Bonds 15 years ago, Clark said bondsmen and bounty hunters are vital to New Jersey’s judicial system. If operating effectively and legally, he said, the bondsman pulls together enough cash and assets from a suspect’s family and other backers to protect against a default.
If a client skips bail, Clark and other bondmen will go out as bounty hunters and haul them in. And in the future, with that record of where the suspect went while wearing the monitoring anklet, tracking down a fugitive will be that much easier.
Bail reforms signed into law last week by Gov. Chris Christie cleared the way for judges to keep violent offenders in jail on high or no bail in return for easy or no-cash bail for poor lesser offenders.
Proponents of the new law contend it’s a way to save on the cost of housing suspects awaiting trial — sometimes for years — and helps families by setting breadwinners free to work and pay their bills, including lawyer and bail costs.
Jersey’s new law also is modeled on the federal system, which also is leaning away from locking up non-violent offenders awaiting trial on constitutional grounds.
In a bail hearing on the day Christie signed the new law, defense lawyer John Furlong told a Mercer County Superior Court judge that Jersey courts should set up “pre-trail services’’ sections as in the federal system for pairing suspects with people willing to take responsibility for getting them to court.
One prosecutor scoffed at that idea, saying the federal courts in Jersey handle hundreds of cases per year, while state courts handle thousands.
You’re talking another huge court bureaucracy,’’ said the prosecutor, who noted also that Jersey’s jails are loaded now with non-violent scofflaws who have been locked up repeatedly for failing to show in court.
Whatever the future, high-tech bail bondsmen and bounty hunters like Clark, 47, are likely to be part of it, as Jersey moves away from incarceration and looks for new ways to make sure defendants show for trial.
Far from putting bail bondsmen out of business, as some feared, the new law cleared the way for an expansion of Clark’s Offender Management Services and before long, he said, probably plenty of competitors.
To set up OMS, Clark said it cost him $30,000 in monitoring equipment that he figures to be using for years to come because of crime being like death and taxes.

Convicted Iowa murderer captured by bounty hunter after fleeing


David Flores back in custodyDES MOINES, Iowa June 2 2014The man convicted of the murder of Phyllis Davis 17 years ago is back in custody after eluding authorities and being wanted for the past eight months.
David Flores walked out of prison a free man after his murder conviction was overturned. But he continued to have confrontations with family members and others and was arrested several times. Last year, a warrant was issued for his arrest for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, but Flores went into hiding.
Des Moines police confirm that a bounty hunter captured Flores a few days ago in Arizona and brought him back to Des Moines. Flores was booked into the Polk County jail at 1:47 Saturday morning.
“It’s good to have him back into custody again,” said Lt. Brent Long of the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. “The bondsman, of course, they’ve been tracking him for quite some time and it’s always good to get these things resolved as quickly as possible. And he has been gone for quite some time.”
Flores was initially convicted of the drive-by shooting death of Phyllis Davis, who was leaving her job in downtown Des Moines when a stray bullet hit her while driving near Ninth and University in 1996. He always maintained his innocence and claimed someone else was involved in the rolling gang fight that led to Davis being killed.
After numerous appeals, his case was overturned. Polk County authorities were attempting to re-try Flores on suspicion of first-degree murder last year when they reached a deal for Flores to accept an Alford plea, which means Flores admitted there was enough evidence to convict him but he did not admit his guilt.
The court sentenced Flores to time already served and he walked out of prison a free man.
At the time of his sentencing, Flores told the court, “I’ve been fighting for my freedom for 17 years.”  He also said, “I already lost my 20s and I have already lost half of my 30s and I’m not giving them anymore.”
But Flores’ time as a free man was short-lived. He had several physical confrontations with people which resulted in his arrest on several occasions.
After his girlfriend was assaulted, Flores went into hiding. Des Moines police suspected he had left town.
David Flores’ mother, Diane Flores, said this arrest brings her back to horrible memories.
“I felt terrible,” Diane Flores said. “It’s like going through it all over again.”
Diane Flores said she spoke to her son Sunday morning.
“I said, ‘Why did you run?’ He says, ‘Mama, I was scared when they said imprisonment that’s life in prison,’” Diane Flores said.
Despite David Flores’ criminal history, Diane Flores said she hopes her son receives one more chance. She said he is not the monster that some people think he is.
“I’m not giving up on David, but if he does get another chance, it’s a blessing. But one, two, three strikes you’re out. And that’s the way I feel,” Diane Flores said.
He’s currently in the Polk County jail facing a number of charges, including assault with physical injury, domestic abuse, harassment, false imprisonment, violation of a no-contact order, and failure to appear.

Outdated New Orleans system makes it hard for bounty hunters


NEW ORLEANS LA May 15 2014 — Roland Johnson was looking at 20 years or more behind bars as a multiple offender when he skipped town on a New Orleans marijuana distribution charge.
Accused car thief Donald Ferguson missed court, then disappeared back into the shadows as a semi-homeless drifter.
Daniel Ponder, facing 24 counts of possession of child pornography that allegedly included torture scenes, left the state and went deep into hiding, leaving only a sporadic social media trail behind him.
These fugitives had one thing in common, and that thing would ultimately lead to their capture: A modern-day bounty hunter named Matt Dennis.
“We live in a modern technology society. You cannot hide. It’s stupid to try to hide,” said Dennis, who sports a crew cut and old-school blue ink tattoos, but tackles his job like a computer geek.
Dennis, with Steve’s Bail Bonds, is responsible for making sure his clients appear in court after posting bail on their behalf. Most do. But when they skip, he has 180 days to find them. If he doesn’t, he has to fork over their full bond amount to the court.
And no bail agent wants to pay.
“He has to go court. That’s the only thing I’m in this for. If he doesn’t go to court, then I have to make him go to court,” Dennis said.
Unlike the popular depiction of bounty hunters as tattooed tough guys banging down doors, today’s fugitive recovery agents are far more likely to do their work with a laptop and cell phone than a battering ram and handcuffs.
Steve Adams, owner of No. 1 Bail Bonds, said bounty hunting muscle is only as effective as the cutting edge technology that supports it.
“The criminals, as they get smarter doing their thing, hiding out, we have to evolve as well,” Adams said. “We have automated phone services to check on new court dates. We have access to ping phones.”
Dennis recounted how in one recent case involving a fugitive who fled to Michigan, he displayed his technological capabilities to the defendant’s grandmother. She responded by immediately giving up his hiding place.
“It told her, “This is what I’m capable of doing.” Then I started reading to her family members that died 20 years ago. Their addresses. Their kids. Showing her pictures from satellites. Showing her tracking stuff from different electronic devices.”
In New Orleans, however, there apparently are holes in the system making it easier for fugitives to remain on the run.
Local bail bond companies explained that people who skip court aren’t routinely being entered into criminal justice databases as fugitives. There are two such databases. The local court computer system is known as the “motions system.” The national database is known as NCIC, short for National Crime Information Center.
In many cases, New Orleans defendants who miss a court date aren’t being entered into either system, leaving some New Orleans fugitives off of law enforcement radar.
“They’re not putting them into the system. And it makes it tough on us,” Adams said.
Ronald Boutee, a bounty hunter for Blair’s Bail Bonds, said he’s captured many local bail jumpers and taken them to Central Lockup, only to be turned away because nobody entered an attachment or warrant in the computer.
“We’ll bring him over to local authorities and they won’t accept him into the jail, for whatever reason, because he’s not in that system,” Boutee said. “And it causes us more man hours because we have to sit on that defendant in order to meet our obligation to bring him back to court.”
Entering a fugitive into a computer would seem to be a simple task, but there are complicated layers to the process, depending on the court.
In New Orleans Municipal Court, which handles municipal violations and low-level state misdemeanors, there are two types of warrants, known as attachments, according to a court spokesman. One type of attachment lists a defendant as wanted once they skip court. But another type of attachment, called an administrative attachment, does not alert police that a person missed court.
For example, take Natalyia Jones, currently wanted in several theft cases and missed court appearances. She remains free today and, according to the court and New Orleans police, nobody is looking for her.
Dennis said there are untold defendants just like Jones roaming the streets.
“They can be right here in the city of New Orleans, over in Gretna, Metairie,” he said. “When they get pulled over and they run their names, there are no warrants. Not wanted. Not showing that they’re wanted at all.”
In Criminal Court, which handles more serious state charges, judges routinely issue warrants, but those warrants don’t always get entered into NCIC.
The sheriff’s office is responsible for entering fugitive warrants into the local and national crime computers. A spokesman for that office said that is done at the request of either judges, prosecutors or – for a $25 fee – bail bondsmen. But the spokesman did not explain why so many local fugitives are not making it into the system.
“They’re not putting them into the system. And it makes it tough on us,” Adams said.
So how do the truly dangerous bad guys get caught? The ones fleeing felony charges, sometimes crossing state lines and going into hiding?
Enter the bounty hunter. Once the bail bond companies are chasing a fugitive, they almost always pay $25 to get their defendant the NCIC system. That allows bounty hunters to enlist the help of police anywhere in the country. Otherwise, law enforcement has no record that a defendant is on the lam.
“It should be automatic, but it’s not,” Adams said. “We pay a $25 fee for the sheriff’s office to put them in NCIC.”
That’s exactly the process that Dennis used to round up his fugitives. Johnson was hiding out in Texas. Ferguson was caught in Indiana.
And the man accused of possessing child pornography, Daniel Ponder, was tracked through social media by Dennis’ tech-savvy daughter, beating an Internet expert at his own game.
“She tracked that guy from New Orleans to Washington, D.C. to Maine, and knew where he was getting off a bus in North Carolina,” Dennis said. “That just proved to me you can’t mess with these kids when it comes to computers.”

Colorado bounty hunter accused of impersonating a police officer


Still0424_00000ENGLEWOOD CO April 26 2014  – A 36-year-old man accused of impersonating a police officer says he didn’t do it.
Leslie Simpson was arrested April 18 after police received a report that he was identifying himself as an officer on the 3200 block of South Broadway.
Simpson admitted to 9NEWS he had a badge, because he’s a bounty hunter.
“I don’t indicate I’m a cop,” Simpson said.
He admitted he wasn’t perfect.
“Yes, I have an arrest record, when I was younger mostly, I was a habitual traffic offender, I overcame that. I got my driver’s license now,” he said.
Simpson’s criminal history includes burglary, motor vehicle theft and other traffic offenses. But a police impersonator, his most recent charge from Englewood—he claims he’s not.
“I describe it as a misunderstanding,” Simpson said outside of the Arapahoe County courtroom where he appeared Thursday morning. “I would never indicate that I am a police officer, I am a bounty enforcement agent, aka fugitive recovery agent, aka I’m a bounty hunter.”
He says he has pictures to prove it, one of an arrest and another, in a uniform, with a badge.
“I got five biological children, three stepchildren, in between jobs, trying to make it, it’s tough for me,” he said.
Court documents quote two witnesses who tell police Simpson asked them to leave a car dealership, saying they were trespassing. Simpson allegedly told them “I’m a police officer you need to leave now.”
The witnesses described the badge Simpson is accused of showing.
9NEWS reached out to the witnesses. But haven’t heard back.
One of them, Moon Pahlavan, has an extensive criminal history himself. It included assault and multiple traffic arrests.
Simpson is out on a $2,000 dollar bond and is due back in court in June. He’s been ordered to wear an ankle monitor.

Indictments in alleged Wake County NC bail bond scheme


RALEIGH NC Feb 26 2014 – A Wake County grand jury has handed up indictments in an alleged scheme to help bail bondsmen avoid paying forfeited bonds for people who didn’t show up on their court dates.
Two former court clerks and two bondsmen were indicted Tuesday.Kenneth Vernon Golder II and James L. Perkins are charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, accessing a government computer, altering court records, and misdemeanor bond violation. Golder faces an additional charge of misdemeanor unlicensed bail bonding.
Former court clerks Kelvin Lawrence Ballentine and Latoya Tanisha Barnes are charged with obtaining property by false pretenses, accessing a government computer, and altering court records.
Investigators say the money would have gone to Wake County schools, and totaled nearly $1 million.
The SBI has been investigating the case since last August, when Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby requested agents look into it.
When someone is arrested, they often have to post a bond to get out of jail before their trial. They either have to come up with the cash themselves, or they can pay a bail bondsman a non-refundable fee to post the bond for them. If the person later doesn’t show up for court, the bondsman forfeits the full amount of the bond.
But prosecutors allege in Wake County bondsmen paid bribes to avoid paying forfeited bonds. The scheme had apparently been going on for years.
While the criminal cases are being worked by the SBI and DA’s office, Wake County Public Schools attorney Rod Malone told ABC11 he will be working in civil court to recover the money and fines and penalties to the tune of a total of about $1.5 million.

Hawaii bounty hunter involved in high-speed chase faces serious charges


Keaukaha HI Jan 23 2014 A bounty hunter has been indicted on numerous charges stemming from what witnesses allegedly told police was a high-speed chase through Keaukaha in September.
The six-count indictment dated Jan. 15 charges 43-year-old Benny William Gordon of Pahoa with first-degree criminal property damage, second-degree reckless endangering and two counts each of third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The property damage charge is a Class B felony punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, the drug and paraphernalia charges are both Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, and the reckless endangering charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
According to police Capt. Richard Sherlock, the charges stem from an incident on the afternoon of Sept. 4 involving “two vehicles speeding on Andrews Avenue.” “The report is that one of the vehicles ran the other vehicle off the road,” Sherlock said Friday.
“The pickup truck ran the other car, a Honda sedan, into a rock wall and further tried to pin it into the rock wall. “At some point, the Honda got loose and drove to Baker Avenue, where it was run off the road again.” Sherlock said responding officers determined that Gordon was driving the pickup truck and arrested him for reckless endangerment and criminal property damage. Court documents filed by police state the pickup truck driven by Gordon rammed the Honda, driven by 36-year-old Raylad Brown of Hilo, three times.
The documents also say Gordon is employed as a fugitive recovery agent — also known as a skip tracer or bounty hunter — by 4Freedom Bail Bonds. Gordon allegedly told officers that Brown was wanted on a warrant. According to a Sept. 28, 1997, article on, bounty hunters, whose powers are derived from the 1972 U.S. Supreme Court case Taylor vs. Taintor, are afforded more latitude than police in their methods of apprehending fugitives.
“They do not need a warrant to search the residence of a skip, even a hotel room,” the article states. “Nor are they required to announce themselves before entering private property, as police officers must. Evidence obtained illegally by bounty hunters can be submitted in court. Like all police officers, bounty hunters are authorized to use ‘all reasonable force’ to apprehend skips.” Sherlock said bounty hunters are not allowed to endanger the public to apprehend a fugitive.
“As to ramming, recklessly endangering anybody, and/or criminal property damage in this case, they’re not given that liberty. They’re definitely allowed to do their jobs within the confines of the law, which everybody else is assumed to follow,” he said.
“We as police officers are not allowed to ram cars off the road or use vehicles in any type of intervention. That’s our policy.” Sherlock said the drug and paraphernalia charges against Gordon were filed after he was searched at the Hilo police station.
“We do what is called an inventory search and we found two crystal glass pipes with white residue and initial tests done were presumptive positive for methamphetamine,” he said. Gordon said Monday Brown “knew that he was wanted by the company I work for, 4Freedom Bail Bonds.” “He saw me and he tried to evade me and run from me,” Gordon said.
“I was following him. I wasn’t endangering nobody. I was just following at a distance. He ended up spinning out on one of the turns in Keaukaha and I tried to block him in so he didn’t endanger anybody else, obviously. He got away from that one and he decided to go and try to get away through the back road, which I tried to cut him off. He proceeded to come head on into me, so I decided to use my vehicle and stop him. I stopped right there in the middle (of the road) and he ran right into it.” Gordon said Brown then fled on foot and Gordon chased him down and apprehended him.
“The bad part of this thing is that I confiscated his pipes and, unfortunately, when the cops came, I had the pipes on me,” he said. “I told the arresting officer, I forget his name, but I told him that they were his (Brown’s), but they didn’t care. … I’m trying to contest (police and prosecutors’ allegations) that the pipes were mine.”
According to court records, Brown has 18 convictions, including four felonies — burglary, theft, promotion of a dangerous drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. Court records also indicate that Gordon has 26 convictions, nine for felonies, including theft, attempted theft, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit card, auto theft, escape and a firearms charge, but none for drugs.
He is, however, facing a firearms charge and felony drug-related charges in another case, including attempted first-degree methamphetamine trafficking, a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. Those charges were brought by indictment on Nov. 21, 2012.
Prosecutors also charged him with bail jumping by felony information complaint on Oct. 4, 2013. Gordon called the charges “a personal vendetta to see me behind bars” by Jason Skier, a deputy prosecutor, and added that he doesn’t use meth. He described himself as “a public servant.” “I’ve made mistakes in my life,” he said. “But I’ve committed the last two years to apprehending fugitives and that’s all that I do now. … I led a terrible life in the beginning, but I definitely have a higher purpose now.”
West Hawaii Today

New Oklahoma Law Requires Bounty Hunters To Be Licensed


TULSA, Oklahoma – Nov 2 2013

Rounding up criminals could make you a criminal, starting this Friday, if you don’t have a license. It’s a new law many have been fighting to have on the books for years.

Before the law was passed, anyone – even convicted felons – could be bounty hunters.
Many say that was giving their business a bad name.
Lenny Biggers and Salomon Dionicio have been working together for nearly a decade. The two go all over town searching for criminals who’ve jumped bail. Both are hoping the new Bail Enforcement and Licensing law will make people take their jobs more seriously.
“It will weed out the people that do not know the laws,” Dionicio, a bail bondsman, said.
Lenny Biggers, a bounty hunter, said, “We need it bad. This is something that is desperately needed.”
Starting November 1, bounty hunters can’t have anything on their uniform that gives the impression they’re with law enforcement. That means Biggers will have to throw out his shirt that says “fugitive recovery”
“Nothing that says anything about bail enforcement. It will have to be bail enforcer,” Biggers said.
They’ll also have to be licensed through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training, or CLEET.
“There’s a lot of people out there who wake up in the middle of the night after watching ‘Dog’ and say, ‘Hey, I want to be a bounty hunter. This looks like fun,'” Biggers said.
In fact, while we were talking, Dionicio got a call from an amateur wanting to work for him.
Caller: “I’m a bounty hunter and I’m pretty serious about what I do. I want to see if you need help finding her?”
Salomon Dionicio, Bail Bondsman: “Are you certified by law that goes into effect tonight at midnight?”
Dionicio said he gets those calls every day, and most have no idea what law he’s talking about.
“It’s extremely dangerous if you do not know what you’re doing,” Dionicio said.
Even if a bounty hunter has his or her concealed handgun license, they must also get a carrying license through CLEET, or they could face prison time.

Bounty hunters wanted by Fargo police for breaking down wrong door



FARGO ND Oct 23 2013 – Bounty hunters chasing criminals in Fargo last month face criminal charges after allegedly lying to police about breaking down the wrong person’s door in a fugitive search.
Five people, including reality TV show star Rene Anthony Charles Greeno of “Southern Bounty Hunter,” were charged Friday in Cass County District Court
The charges come in connection with the bounty hunters’ September search for a man who skipped court. They didn’t find the man, but in early October they found a female wanted by U.S. marshals for skipping a court appearance on drug possession and concealed weapons charges.
Greeno, 27, of Summerville, S.C., is charged with one count of felony Class C criminal trespass, one count of misdemeanor Class A giving false information to law enforcement and one count of misdemeanor Class B criminal mischief.
Tanner James Olson, 21, of West Fargo, Jeremiah John Opheim, 29, of Moorhead, and Brooke Maryelle Starkweather, 20, of Moorhead, face charges of felony Class C criminal trespass and misdemeanor Class A giving false information. Dustin Ray Fredrickson, 25, of Moorhead, faces one charge of Class C felony criminal trespass.
Arrest warrants for all five were issued Friday.
Court documents filed with the cases state that Rebecca Sundeen reported to police Sept. 29 that her Fargo apartment had been broken into, with damage to the front door, but nothing taken.
A neighbor, Nick Meseck, told police he saw three people yelling in the hallway. One of the men kicked in an apartment door, all three people went in and then came out a few minutes later, with one of the men saying, “I thought the address had been confirmed.”
Meseck said the two men and one woman were wearing camouflage clothing, tactical vests and clothing stating “Bounty Hunter.”
Fargo Detective Ryan Nilson contacted Opheim, the owner of Moorhead-based Northern Bounty Fugitive Enforcement. Opheim said he had been looking for someone with the help of Southern Bounty Fugitive Enforcement and the other four people charged.
Opheim, Starkweather and Olson told Nilson they were involved in a downtown search for the male fugitive but denied they were involved with the break-in.
Fredrickson called police and told them he was working for Northern Bounty Fugitive Enforcement, keeping watch outside the apartment to see if anyone ran out.
When he heard the door being kicked in, he joined the others inside the apartment. That was when they realized it was a bad address, he said.
Starkweather also reportedly called police, saying she was involved in covering up the event and wanted to come clean.
Starkweather and Opheim told police they wanted to come clean sooner, but Greeno threatened them if anyone went to jail over the break-in.
Starkweather told police Greeno took the phone out of her hand as they left the scene that day, telling her he’d kill her daughter.
Court documents also state Greeno may have tried to set up someone else to take the fall.
A man claiming to be Kenneth Harris contacted Nilson to tell him he ran a fugitive apprehension company out of Oklahoma, and that he was the person who kicked the door in.
That person was Greeno attempting to divert the investigation, according to a police report filed with the charges.
Documents state Greeno also left multiple voicemail and text messages for Nilson, saying, “Your warrants can’t touch me where I am going,” and, “My family works for the marshal service and I know more people than you think.”
In a subsequent police interview, Greeno said he kicked open the door at Opheim’s request because Opheim heard the fugitive in the apartment. Greeno also told police Opheim’s credibility would be skewed if the case went to a jury trial because Opheim is mentally handicapped.
Greeno was previously quoted in a WDAY-TV story saying his group intended to work with Fargo police to apprehend another fugitive.
Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said the group was at no time working with his department, and that anyone doing fugitive apprehension work needs to be licensed as a bail bondsman in the state of North Dakota. He said Greeno’s statements were an attempt to legitimize his operation.
Vettel said Fargo police and state officials continue to investigate the case, including allegations Greeno threatened to kill people if they cooperated with police.
“They have caused some concern not only for us but also for other law enforcement agencies around the region, and around the country,” Vettel said.
Vettel said anyone confronted by members of the bounty hunter group should contact the Fargo police immediately.
“I think we’ve made it very clear to them they should not be in the city of Fargo. And if they do, they are making a very serious mistake,” he said.
Vettel said he expected members of the group to turn themselves in voluntarily.

“Lipstick Bounty Hunters” sued by woman who had door kicked in


LOS ANGELES CA Sept 28 2013— The so-called “Lipstick Bounty Hunters” of Orange County are being sued by a Hawthorne woman who claims they kicked down the door of her apartment while looking for her fugitive ex-boyfriend.
Shavonna Sutton, 25, filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Wednesday on behalf of herself and her seven-year-old daughter, Jayla Smith, according to City News Service.
Sutton claims her daughter was traumatized when the Lipstick Bounty Hunters, founded by twins Lisa and Theresa Golt, burst into her home with bounty hunter Chris Alvarez to apprehend fugitive Ricky Lewis on April 20.
Lewis previously dated Sutton and the bounty hunters claimed they had information that the pair was still together. Sutton, however, claims she hadn’t spoken to Lewis in more than two years.
Alvarez, who led the search for Lewis, previously said his team tried several times to get Sutton to open the door but she refused, giving them the right to break in.
Sutton claims Alvarez detained her while Roni Alicia Faciane, Lisa Golt and Theresa Golt questioned her daughter.
According to legal filings, the women were “armed with pink guns and video cameras” when they entered her residence.
“Ms. Sutton’s and Jayla’s emphatic assurances that they had no knowledge of Lewis’ whereabouts were met with arrogant, demeaning insults and physical violence,” the lawsuit claims.
“In the videos, the bounty hunters are heard trying to extract information from Jayla, while Faciane tells the girl’s mother, ‘No (N-word) is worth that (expletive).’”
Sutton alleges civil rights violations, assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Faciane has dismissed the lawsuit as “frivolous” and “malicious”, according to CNS, and claims her team was only there to back up Alvarez, who kicked down the door.
The City of Hawthorne is also named in the suit.

Bounty hunters at Quince Orchard High guilty of assault

ROCKVILLE, Md. Aug 31 2013

Two bounty hunters have pled guilty to assault after they tried to apprehend a bail jumper at gunpoint on the grounds of a local high school.

It happened last March outside the main entrance of Quince Orchard High School as students were leaving for the day.

An incident so frightening several schools in the area were briefly placed on lockdown.

Before sentencing Jonathan Vargas-Fuentes to three years in jail, all of it suspended, the judge in the case called the man’s conduct outrageous, telling the bounty hunter in so many words he should have known he was on school grounds.

In a video released by the state’s attorney’s office and used as evidence in the case you can see a pickup truck drive up to the main entrance of the school with a gold Taurus trailing close behind.

The video shows the passenger door of the Taurus open and a man’s leg coming out. What you can’t see is what prosecutors say students saw as they were waiting for the bus.

A gun and a man shouting “get out of the car”.

The man in the pickup already had one encounter with the men, knew he was being pursued and headed for the school thinking it was a safe place. He was wanted for jumping bail and failing to appear in court on a drug charge.

Although there is no audio, the students standing nearby saw it all and heard the man screaming “get out of the car”.

As the pickup speeds off the police are called and the men are stopped a short distance away where they claim to be federal agents.

A claim police soon learn is false when they find credentials showing the men to be fugitive recovery agents, or bounty hunters.

Outside the courthouse, Vargas-Fuentes had nothing to say and let his lawyer do the talking.

“From my clients standpoint he was chasing someone who had an active warrant”, said attorney John Pikulski, “he was trying to bring someone back to justice who chose not to appear in court, he was following them, well within his duties, that person entered a school, he is not familiar with the area, he unknowingly entered a school property, they were there for a matter of minutes and when he learned where they were and what was going on they left”.

Witnesses told police when the men drove up to the school they were wearing masks.

Two items police found when they searched the car along with a tazer and a pellet gun.

“Bail bondsmen and recovery agents are an important part of the criminal justice system”, said Ramon Korionoff, spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office, “they help keep the cases flowing and the cases coming to court after they have failed to appear but in this particular case they stepped over the line when they brought weapons onto school property and used them as they tried to apprehend an individual”.

Before pleading guilty last week to second degree assault and possessing a gun on school property, Clemente Balsera spent fifty nine days in jail. He too was sentenced to three years, all of it suspended.

Both men continue to work as bounty hunters and their licenses have not been suspended.

Michigan bounty hunter gets community service on extortion charge

FORT COLLINS CO Dec 18 2012 — A Michigan bounty hunter was sentenced to probation and community service for an extortion charge stemming from his contact with a Loveland man.

Chad Russell Farquhar, 39, stopped in Loveland to arrest a man wanted in Michigan on a misdemeanor traffic warrant while en route to Wyoming to pick up a fugitive for a Jackson, Mich, bail bonds company.

The man and his family alleged that Farquar took him into custody then offered to release him for drugs and money, according to Loveland police reports. Authorities arrested and charged Farquar with kidnapping and extortion.

In a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped the kidnapping charge and Farquhar pleaded guilty to extortion. Friday, Judge Stephen Schapanski sentenced Farquhar to three years probation and 60 hours community service.

Mobile Alabama bounter hunter arrested for posing as police officer

MOBILE, Alabama Dec 7 2012– A bounty hunter with ties to Birmingham pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he targeted people in the criminal justice system in Mobile County, posed as a police officer and then hit them up for money.

Mobile County Circuit Judge James Wood set a Feb. 5 trial date for Eddie James Briskett and appointed attorney William “Cal” Morris to represent him. Morris could not be reached for comment.
The indictment charges Briskett, 48, with impersonating a peace officer, intimidating a witness and two counts of extortion. The most serious charge, extortion, carries a prison sentence of two to 20 years upon conviction. According to law enforcement authorities, Briskett victimized three people in February and March in Mobile and Prichard.
“He would go to their homes, in many cases, and tell them he was a police officer or a bail bondsman, and if they didn’t pay him a certain amount of money, he threatened to put them in jail,” Mobile County Assistant District Attorney Keith Blackwood said. In two of the cases, Blackwood said, Briskett arrived with blue lights on his vehicle and told the victims – who both had pending criminal charges – that he would take them to jail and hold them with no bond. In one case, according to the indictment, Briskett demanded $325 and accepted $85.
In another case, the indictment alleges, he collected $250. “He had handcuffs with him and after they would give him the money, he would write them a receipt,” he said. The witness intimidation charge stems from allegations that Briskett threatened to arrest a woman if she did not sign paperwork to drop charges against a man facing a domestic violence charge.
One of the alleged victims complained, setting off an investigation by the Prichard police and the District Attorney’s Office. Court records indicate that Briskett was living at a residence on Airport Boulevard in Mobile, but he also has listed a Birmingham address in the recent past. Blackwood said the allegations are unusual. “It’s absolutely bizarre,” he said. “I’ve never come across anybody like Eddie Briskett. We will prosecute his behavior to the fullest extent of the law.”