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July 10, 2007

Comments

Me

Scary isn't it?

At all times, remember that your are NOT determining the guilt of innocence of the accused. Rather, in order for you to return a bill as a true bill, you must find that a crime has probably been committed, and from the evidence presented to you, there is probable cause to believe that the person charged in the bill of indictment committed the crime. Do not try the case in the grand jury room.

If you find form the evidence presented to you that there is probable cause for the charge made in the bill of indictment, you will return that bill of indictment as "a true bill"

Let a jury of 12 peers and the public decide if Long is gulity or innocent.

DuPree

God Damit!


12 people couldnt see that this shooting needed to be examined in open court? Who the fuck are they to have ruled guilt or innocence, their job was to determine whether or not it was a case to be sent on for trial. NOT TO GUESS RIGHT OR WRONG!

Damn them!

Kelly

marc and tre this is the saddest thing. everyone shoudl read it to know the humanity in this situation.

Come see me Marc!

A Former Victim

I fear the average citizen is oblivious to the depth of the corruption evidenced by 2 grand juries failing to find probable cause to indict and try this case. Surely someone is guilty of a crime here, if not the officer who pulled the trigger, perhaps the knucklehead that authorized a paramilitary group to go after a couple of boys. I do not know more about this case in particular, but I do know that this "special" NHC team has historically operated above the law and are protected by the local judicial community. In the books, a person has "rights" until found guilty by a jury of peers, but in reality this is not the case. This team extorts and victimizes. This time it resulted in the death of a person; no trial, no justice. Officer Long in my opinion was not the worst character in the group outside the door. Again, the average citizen is oblivious to who could come knocking on their door and what could happen. Something stinks here. I will never digest the 1st grand jury saying they checked the wrong box. How did the idiot tie his shoes and make it to the court house, but be unable to check the right box? Are there no doublechecks? Does the judge or someone not ask for confirmation of the documented decision before the press publishes the findings? I do not buy it. Americans who love freedom should examine what is happening because our freedom is slipping. Continue to turn your heads, eat and get fat while these things happen to "someone else", but don't complain when they decide your door is next. When that day comes, this special team will charge you so heavily that going for a jury trial will NOT be an option for you due to the risk of conviction on all trumped up charges. That is why the DA accepts so many pleas. This approach keeps the jury members, our peers, American citizens, out of the equation. It is by design; so that the word of the accuser is not questioned and the accussed is unable to defend himself in court. So be comfortable in your silent existence. My heart goes out to the Strickland family and maybe to Officer Long as well. I suspect many of his former comrads have distanced themselves from him.

Detention Center New Hanover Corruption

THE BAIL INDUSTRY’S CORRUPTION REPORTER

“A FREE PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO THE EXPOSURE OF CORRUPTION IN THE BAIL COMMUNITY”

In a world where the pen is mightier than the sword, it is our belief that the net is the best tool to trap and expose and repair our industry’s corruption

contact us at: bailforumnc@yahoo.com September 2007

Staff Writer Pete Sunday

WARNING!!!FAILURE TO OBEY OR ENFORCE THE LAW MAY LAND YOU BELOW SOON!!!

Does the Shoe Fit?

Somewhere NC- Bail bonding outfit bribes jailors with pizzas, loans etc. Reports and complaints are being made about the new facility’s employees promoting one certain bail group. Shame on the new County Detention Center for violating various laws including 15A-541 and 58-71-105 as well as encouraging and assisting bondsmen to violate 58-71-95.6. . Prohibited practices; “No bail bondsman or runner shall: (6) Solicit business in any of the courts or on the premises of any of the courts of this State, in the office of any magistrate and in or about any place where prisoners are confined. Loitering in or about a magistrate’s office or any place where prisoners are confined shall be prima facie evidence of soliciting.”

Clinton NC- Local bail group hiring attorneys to deprive school system of forfeited money. Bondsmen or in this case bondswomen bypassing forfeiture process altogether and buying time wrongfully at the court’s expense by getting orders for arrest recalled. This should be done by a defendant’s attorney, not the bondsman’s. This should also be done for good reason by a defendant that has intentions of appearing at some point. Violation of 58-71-95(2) as well as other statutes pertaining to defrauding the court should address these issues. But what about the girl that writes bail and is always seen “hanging out” in a certain magistrate’s offices? The chief district court judge should stop such.

Statewide NC- Not since the days of Capitol Bail Bonding has North Carolina been faced with such a saturation of unscrupulous, uneducated, ignorant, thugs that grab anything from 3-5% premiums. These new faces of bail could care less whether or not a defendant appears in court and are courtesy of power hungry, number scheme running general agencies that place as many agents in any given area as oxygen would allow. These shady agencies are destroying bail in the Tar Heel State and are accumulating a mountain of bail loss snowballs that are sure to collapse. Shame on the lawmakers that allow such as well as the Department of Insurance for its lack of enforcing regulations on the bail industry.

Raleigh NC- No they’re not criminals, crooks or defendants-or are they? They are your local bail agents. Just read their bright t-shirts as they advertise their respective-or irrespective businesses. Names like “hum-vee bail”, “sexy tail bail”, “yo moma 5%” and you figure the rest. Thumbs up to the sheriff for running these gangsters out of his facility. Too bad he can’t fumigate the outside parking areas surrounding the 100 foot barrier he established ridding these rodents even further.

Lumberton NC- Robeson County sheriff takes a strong stance to stop illegal solicitation by bondsman that sent an email to a head jailor. This bondsman who was a former disgraced drug detective was asking the jailor to “send him business”. Incidentally this bondsman, a former drug detective ousted by federal authorities during a recent clean up of corruption in the county, was denied a private investigator’s license by the State of North Carolina. Jim Long’s DOI provided welcome arms and a new livelihood to this individual that is now overwhelmingly violating the solicitation law.

Greenville NC- Whatever happened to Jim Long’s DOI investigation of the Morris Moye “fictitious jailor/surrenders” of defendants that were never incarcerated in the Pitt County facility? OFAs not served, false court documents created and paperwork either “signed and/or forged” with hints of collusion by county personnel. Shame on Pitt and the DOI for sweeping this investigation that should have been turned over to the feds under the rug.

Charlotte NC-Reports that pretrial is on the rise again. Release at the taxpayer’s expense is not the answer. The Mecklenburg Association needs your help in combating the rise of county funded “anti-private bail”. More to come.

My Take

Just as unfair taxation created the robin hoods of Sherwood Forest and the Indians at Boston Harbor, so too have we been called to help expose and vigilantly write wrongs brought down upon the bail industry. Two major problems appear to be affecting the bail industry in North Carolina currently. The first and not less important than the next is a lack of regulation by Jim Long’s Department of Insurance. Secondly is given the near collapse of the Nation’s financial markets along with newer and newer agents being stacked on top of other agents, many of whom would not qualify to get a job at Wal-Marts being allowed into the industry. Concerns are being raised statewide regarding sending the insurance companies out of North Carolina, at least in regards to writing bail. Perhaps we should consider bring the old professionals back exclusively. But first you would have to pry the insurance lobbyist away from Jim Long’s back.

That’s My Take.

None Dare Call it Treason-or Reason

It matters not if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that our federal government is broken. Just as Washington needs an adjustment or fixing, so does the bail system in North Carolina. Why do you think that judges are outsourcing bail to pretrial agencies. Every new year in our state finds yet another tax payer funded alternative to the bail agent. In some counties bondsmen are having to compete against the local sheriff. Many counties have an officer that walks through the jail on a daily basis and actually acts as an attorney. This officer goes to the judge and arranges bond reductions by way of unsecured bonds and even in some cases works with or for an electronic monitoring program. Overcrowding has its consequences but so to does the new face of bail. Soliciting, pimp like kids that have no care about the future of the industry as well as their appearance flood the various jails. These embarrassments of the industry are making a lot of judges, clerks and magistrates take notice-and action. Rate cutting unprofessional looking thugs have moved the bail industry to the back seat as a viable answer to overcrowding. Yet somewhere today another agent is being added to the books of the racket running general agent. Laws must be put in place to stop this activity. Twelve hundred agents today, three thousand tomorrow. Five percent today, how low next week? ----- Original Message -----

From: Jamer Berner

To:

Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 3:50 PM

Subject: The New Face of Bail Bonding

I was recently asked to do a profile of several different industries. The latter and perhaps the least favorite, I'll discuss here.

Describe the face of the Bail Bondsman in the New Millennium verses those of the past.

Ok. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well lets see, since my college days at North Carolina State where I gravitated from a job in agriculture to that "disgusting" law degree at the school with the hated light blue colors, a lot has certainly changed.

The bondsman of the previous decades were most certainly white males. No one can dispute that. They were mainly older, mid 50's as I recall. They were definitely well off, sometimes large property owners. You very seldom, if ever heard tell of one that couldn't pay a Clerk if money were due. You never heard of one that didn't have any money in the bank, wrote bad checks, or couldn't pay his bills. The bondsmen in summary were wealthier individuals that had a somewhat good reputation in the community. If you saw one on the street or in a courtroom, they were more times than not very well dressed, clean shaven and generally stood out in their community as an individual of respect. Sure you had your bad apples but then again don't we esteemed members of the bar have our skeletons as well?

Today as I sit inside of the courtroom I somewhat shift my eyes around as I usually do. It is often very easy to become prejudicial. I mean it is sometimes easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys.I began to write down all of my thoughts after nearly 40 years as an officer of the court. If I know one thing, I cannot tell these new "gangstas" from the good guys!

From what I have learned, Insurance Companies have gotten involved in Bail. It appears that the new face of bail is female and even African American. I guess I should be happy with the latter, since I too am African American. Ironically I am not as these new brothers do not represent me nor the civil rights leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King. Actually with words far worse than what any Imos could say, their appearance, misdemeanor and actions have damaged a culture that was "on the move" and beautiful. As best I can tell a lot of these so-called "insurance agents" normally do not have $500 in their bank account. And they write and guarantee bail for 10 times such? What is wrong with this picture? Who can fix this problem? The new face of bail will most definitely be the pre-trial release industry. Electronic monitoring staff look very much like the bondsmen of the past. Just ask any judge and I am sure that you will get the same viewpoint. Goodbye gansta insurance agents. Hello pretrial release.

EDITORIAL: Bail-Bond Industry in Need of Reform
By Connecticut Post, Bridgeport

Apr. 12--Recent notorious arrests in New Haven have placed the issue of reform of the bail-bond industry back before the General Assembly. Maybe this year the reforms will actually be voted.

The issue of better regulation of the multimillion dollar, often cut-throat, bail-bond business has bubbled in the Assembly since 2003 when the Program Review and Investigations Committee issued a blistering report that concluded the industry was feebly regulated by the state Department of Insurance.

Legislation to reform the business, based on the panel's report, was introduced in both the 2004 and 2005 sessions but was killed by a coalition of Latino and black lawmakers, including the outspoken ex-Sen. Ernest P. Newton, now serving federal prison time for political corruption. However, the arrests of three veteran New Haven bails bondsmen and two New Haven police officers last month by federal agents re-ignited the reform movement.

The bail bondsmen were charged with allegedly paying off-duty New Haven officers thousands of dollars in cash to track down missing defendants who fled after not showing up for court appearances.

Poor regulation by the Insurance Department, coupled with a dramatic increase in the number of bail bondsmen -- which translates into fiercer competition -- has led, authorities say, to a panoply of shady dealings, price-gouging and bidding wars with relatives who must post bond for family members.

Although a reform package was not introduced in the current Assembly session, Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, co-chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, vowed recently that there would be action this session.

Certainly, basic reforms such as mandating that bail-bond agents strictly follow current statutory percentages in extending bonds and preventing bidding wars by changing the manner in which agents submit payments to underwriters must be undertaken.

Transferring oversight from the lackadaisical Insurance Department to the Department of Public Safety would also improve regulation.

Bail bonds are big business in Connecticut. Some half billion dollars of bonds are underwritten annually in the state, even though 85 percent of those arrested each year are released without posting bond.

The number of bail bond firms in the state has more than doubled in the past five years from 52 to 130 and the number of bail bondsmen has increased from 241 to 450.

If the nefarious, cut-throat tactics omnipresent today can be reduced through reforms, then the Assembly must act this session.

Three Bail Bondsmen and a Police Lieutenant Indicted in New Haven
One month after being arrested, three bail bondsmen and a New Haven police lieutenant have been indicted by a grand jury on corruption charges. Officers William White and Justen Kasperzyk were both arrested and charged on various counts related to stealing government money. Charges against Kasperzyk are still pending, while White was indicted this past week. Following the arrests, New Haven police disbanded the narcotics unit that White headed. Bail bondsmen Robert Jacobs, Paul Jacobs and Philip Jacobs, were also arrested and charged with bribery conspiracy. The bondsmen offered White and other police officers bribes in order for the officers to track down bail skippers. (Connecticut - Hartford Courant, Apr. 25, 2007)

Legislative Reform for Bail Industry Gains Additional Support
A scandal in the New Haven Police Department, involving three bail bondsmen charged with bribing police officers, may be helping lobbyists change bail legislation. Three years ago, a reform plan to regulate the state's bail bondsmen was closely passed on by the General Assembly but is now again on the legislative agenda - and is quickly gaining support. This past week, chairmen of several key legislative committees voiced their support of the new rules. Chairmen of the Public Safety, Judiciary, Insurance, and Real Estate committees decided to act fast in attaching the suggested reforms to another piece of legislation. The new legislation would mean that the state's bail bondsmen would not be regulated by the Insurance Department - as they are now -- but by the Department of Public Safety. In addition, the process for recovering forfeited bonds would be overseen by the Department of Administrative Services, which is the body that files civil actions to recover money which is owed to the state. It is expected that far more forfeited bonds would be recovered if the reform becomes law. (Connecticut - New Haven Register, Apr. 24, 2007)

EDITORIAL: Clean Up The Bail Mess
By The Hartford Courant, Conn.

Apr. 2--If the latest scandal does not inspire legislative leaders to straighten out the bail bond industry, we'd like to know what it will take.

Earlier this month, three New Haven bail bondsmen, Robert Jacobs and his sons Paul and Philip, were arrested by federal authorities and charged with bribery conspiracy for allegedly paying New Haven police officers to hunt down criminal defendants who had skipped on bonds the Jacobses had posted. Two police officers were also arrested.

The arrests seemed to answer a question raised in a stinging 2003 report on the state's bail bond industry by the General Assembly's Program Review and Investigations Committee.

The committee's study found that some bondsmen were engaged in such shady business practices as loan-sharking on cash bonds, issuing fraudulent bonds, intimidation and illegally undercutting or rebating what are supposed to be fixed fees. Sometimes bondsmen physically fought each other for clients. The cutthroat, Wild West atmosphere was apparently prompted by a big influx of bondsmen and agents from an out-of-state company trying to grab market share. The report found the industry dangerously under-regulated.

Some wondered how bondsmen could charge illegally low rates on defendants who presented a high risk of jumping, theoretically forfeiting the bond. The New Haven arrests offer an answer -- bribe police officers to catch the skips.

All of this malfeasant nonsense should have been cleaned up with comprehensive legislation introduced in 2004 and again in 2005. Those bills would have transferred the entire oversight of the industry to the Department of Public Safety (most bondsmen, called surety bondsmen, are now regulated, feebly, by the Insurance Department), strengthened eligibility and license renewal standards, introduced training and eliminated the heavy discount bondsmen receive on forfeited bonds.

This was sensible legislation, and was supported by a majority of bondsmen. But opponents lobbied heavily, notably among black and Latino legislators, and killed it. One opponent of the bill, state Sen. Ernest E. Newton II of Bridgeport, later convicted on federal corruption charges, was a recipient of campaign contributions and favors from bail bondsmen, records indicate.

Though there is not a bail reform bill before the legislature this year, state Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the New Haven scandal will be an impetus for such a measure, and said the details are being worked out. Let's fervently hope Mr. Lawlor is right.

This is corruption within the judicial system itself. It's more than embarrassing; it is shameful.

Los Angeles-A business practice among some high-volume bail bond companies has cost counties millions and placed public safety in jeopardy, according to a published report.

In an effort to increase their market share, some bail bond companies have loosened or done away with requirements for collateral when posting bail for criminal defendants, according to a review of records by the Los Angeles Times. The practice attracts more customers but provides less incentive for defendants to return to court and often leaves counties short millions of dollars in bail forfeitures, the paper reported Sunday.

The California Department of Insurance, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and others statewide are investigating alleged corruption that could lead to charges of perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and unlawful business practices.

State officials have no comprehensive records of bail forfeitures. But Los Angeles County hasn't been able to collect at least $9.1 million in bail forfeitures in a two-year period ending in August 2003, according to the paper.

Of that amount, $5.9 million was attributed to bail bonds associated with Capital Bonding Corp., a Pennsylvania-based company.

Capital's president, Vincent Smith, recently stepped down at the insistence of the firm's bail bond insurer. Harco National Insurance Co. of Illinois took over Capital's operations last month after realizing that it could be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent bail in California and other states, Harco's attorneys said.

Jeff Stanley of San Jose-based Bad Boys Bail Bonds, the state's second-largest bail bond company, said his company and others have been unfairly targeted by officials because of the complaints of smaller firms that have lost market share.

Cooley filed perjury and forgery charges July 9 against one of Bad Boys' employees, Cindy Abreu, accusing the paralegal of filing false affidavits in court to delay payment of forfeitures. Abreu pleaded not guilty July 16 and declined to comment. She faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.

Bail bondsmen in California traditionally have required defendants to pledge collateral, such as a home, to secure the full bail -- but that's not required under state law. The firms under investigation often skip it and sometimes discount the cash commission the defendant must pay, Cooley said.

Cooley estimates that uncollected bail forfeitures have cost Los Angeles County $30 million over the last three years. Statewide, unpaid forfeitures may total $100 million to $150 million over the same period, said Steve Krimel, a bail expert and attorney who represents a small bail firm that is losing out to high-volume competitors.

Cash Only Bail Breaks The Law

Durham NC- Some judges are imposing “Cash Only”, “US Currency”, and “Green Money” only as bail in pretrial conditions. This clearly violates a defendant’s civil liberties and rights to bail and turns a purpose designed to produce a defendant into a “fine”. NCGS 15A-531(4) states that “an appearance bond executed by a bail agent acting on behalf of an insurance company is the same as a cash bond”. These cash only judges are not allowing bail agents to post these “illegal” bonds. Case law can be found that establishes that defendants awaiting trial are entitled to bail and that acceptable bail “shall and must” be allowed to be posted by any competent surety. Is not a licensed bail agent considered competent in his state? Who pays the price of these judicial activist? The poor that cannot afford paying the entire bond? The minorities that usually have even less money? The taxpayers that have to eat the bill for a defendant that must remain incarcerated at the county’s expense? Studies have shown that every single minute a defendant is in the county’s care the county is exposed to “severe and intangible” risks that far outweigh the miniscule $40 bucks a day to feed, clothe and house them. Think about the cost the county would pay due to a suicide in the confines of its brick and mortar walls. What about a rape or some sort of debilitating injury or even worse-death. The senior resident superior as defined by statute is supposed to create a policy which defines the release guidelines in his district. This needs to be looked into and judges “denying bail” should be removed from the bench before the ACLU or some other nefarious group comes to the aid of the “innocent until proven guilty” due to their constitutional rights being violated.

Court rules Vt. bail law unconstitutional


MONTPELIER Vt- A law passed by the Legislature in 2002, allowing judges to impose "cash-only" bail on some defendants, violates the state Constitution, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court said that defendants in cases where bail is allowed must be permitted to provide a "surety" _ essentially a promise backed with money by a family member, friend or bail bondsman _ that they will appear for their trial.

In a case arising from Rutland County, the high court said Vermont District Court Judge Patricia Zimmerman ruled improperly when she imposed $60,000 cash bail on Henry J. Hance Jr.

Hance had been arrested on a felony charge of driving while intoxicated, eighth offense, possession of cocaine and driving while his license was suspended. He fled to South Carolina before his arraignment date, the high court said.

After five months on the lam, Hance was arrested in South Carolina, returned to Vermont and arraigned on the charges May 11.

At the arraignment, Zimmerman said there was "ample evidence" that Hance might run again. She said he could make bail only by producing $60,000 in cash. The ruling came after Hance's mother said she could put up the more commonly imposed 10 percent cash, or $6,000, and offer her property as guarantee, the justices said.

Judges can deny bail to someone charged with a crime that carries a possible life sentence and where evidence of guilt is great; they also can do so when there is strong evidence that the defendant would commit violence if released.

But in other cases, the justices said, "our Constitution makes clear that a defendant, who is after all presumed innocent, has liberty interests that must be balanced against the court's interest in securing his or her appearance."

The justices noted that the judge was careful to say that she was setting cash bail for Hance only to ensure that he would not skip bail again.

The court's decision quoted Zimmerman as saying, "bail is not being imposed to ensure your incarceration, Mr. Hance. It is being imposed to assure your appearance."

But the justices, in a decision written by Associate Justice Marilyn Skoglund, found that Zimmerman _ and the Legislature _ erred when they neglected language from the Vermont Constitution, which says that "all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties."

"The distinction between a secured appearance and cash-only bail is significant from the standpoint of a defendant's liberty interests," the court said. It added that "when a court requires only a secured appearance bond, a defendant can avoid pre-trial confinement without posting cash or by posting a small percentage of the bail amount."

Jailors Fraternizing With Bail Agents

Anytown NC- Have you seen them? Perhaps you have been somewhere out to eat breakfast, or maybe even on a trip to Wal-Mart. The new bail agent in town and the “not so friendly” jailor-right in front of you. Then when the telephone stops ringing(after 20 years in business) you notice the new guy(or gal) constantly at the jail, passing out cards, soliciting, hanging out with the magistrate and on and on. The jailors that once greeted you with a smile look down as you go about your business. You arrive at the jail at 1am only to find a family reunion like atmosphere that includes jailors, a magistrate, cops and you guessed it-the new guy. Your client hands you the card that the jailors gave to him. Once again-the new guy. What do you do? Go straight to the shift leader. This only makes the problem worse. Higher up the ladder you go-to the captain. You realize that his smile is like that of a politician-after all he has bars on his collar. Very quickly you realize that an operation that has made you a good living for twenty years now has upset the very people that really hold the key to your livelihood. Sound familiar?

A recent complaint by a bondsman of over twenty years revealed that he noticed such activity as described above. He even witnessed jailors taking smoke breaks with a certain bail agent while this bail agent set on the hood of the sheriff’s car-ten feet in front of the door to the jail.

“Loans” being made to jailors by bail agents is common practice in some counties in this state. The new bail agent on the block has found a way to “break into the industry”. He often befriends unsuspecting jailors in a disguised attempt to obtain unfair competition over those that keep their professional distance and play by the rules. After all who wants to have to start out at the bottom and work their way up slowly-year by year. Solicitation and grafting laws must be enforced-even if you have to file a complaint at the federal level.

Hampton Va- Magistrate's Bail Bondsman and Clerk charged with Obstruction Of Justice
A Bail Bondsman and a Clerk at the Hampton Magistrate's office find themselves on the other side of the law. Both the Bail Bondsman, Kevin Owens, and the Clerk,Nellie Brown are behind bars. They have been charged with Misdemeanor Obstruction Of Justice.

Hampton Police obtained a search warrant on July 30th at the Magistrate's office for a residence in regards to narcotics. It's alleged that within moments of the warrant being signed a clerk in the Magistrate's office, Nellie Brown, told Owens, of the impending execution of a search warrant. Owens, then alerted the residents of the home to be searched, that a warrant had been issued.

Brown and Owens are scheduled for a hearing on August 20th. The clerk no longer works in Magistrate's office.
Former 24th Judicial District Court Judge Alan Green Sentenced to Prison Term
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and James Bernazzani, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Field Division, announced today that ALAN J. GREEN, former 24th Judicial District Court Judge, was sentenced today in Federal Court by United States District Judge Lance M. Africk to a period of fifty-one (51) months imprisonment. In addition to the prison term, Green was fined $50,000 and required to serve a period of three (3) years of supervised release upon his release from prison.

GREEN was convicted by a jury in federal court following trial on one count of mail fraud and deprivation of the honest services of a public official in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1346.

GREEN, the only one of fourteen charged and convicted defendants who went to trial, was convicted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 of mail fraud involving his receipt of two $5,000 cash bribe payments which he received from convicted defendant Norman Bowley on behalf of Bail Bonds Unlimited. During the trial, prosecutors elicited the testimony of conduct by Green and others who participated in the corruption of his office on behalf of Bail Bonds Unlimited, establishing that GREEN’S conduct resulted in not only the deprivation of his honest services to the citizens of Jefferson Parish and the State, but also actual harm to the community and its citizens as a result of serious crimes by individuals GREEN released on reduced bonds as part of his corrupt scheme to benefit Bail Bonds Unlimited. United States District Judge Lance Africk provided a nine page “Reasons for Sentence” which the Court read into the record prior to the imposition of GREEN’s prison term. During the Court’s presentation, U. S. District Judge Africk referenced his careful consideration of the individual characteristics of the offender, the pre-sentence investigation and the offender’s role in the offense. Citing numerous actions by GREEN and others which were revealed during trial testimony, evidencing his participation in the corruption of GREEN’s own office, the Court went on to sentence GREEN to fifty-one (51) months imprisonment.

In imposing today’s sentence, U. S. District Judge Lance Africk, as part of a lengthy explanation of his reasons for sentencing GREEN to prison, stated:

“It is your conduct that put the citizens of this community at risk. Bail Bonds Unlimited saw a for sale sign on your office and decided to purchase it in order to maximize its profits.”

Commenting on today’s proceedings, United States Attorney Jim Letten stated:

“Former Judge ALAN GREEN, who was sentenced to over four years imprisonment today by the United States District Court as a result of his disgraceful and horrific conduct as a sitting judge is the fourteenth defendant in this important corruption operation to be sentenced to date. More importantly, defendant GREEN’S conduct was the focus and the linchpin of a large, profoundly corrupt scheme which depended on the sale of GREEN’s office and integrity as a judge to fund illegal profit by unscrupulous bail bondsmen at the expense of the safety and trust of the citizens of Louisiana. No crime is so disgraceful or shameful as the sacrifice of the integrity of a judicial office, or the violation of the sacred trust which citizens put in judges and other public servants in the criminal justice system. Sadly, MR. GREEN’s is the embodiment of the kind of corruption which unfortunately has scarred and in many ways harmed our Louisiana judicial system, our governmental functions, and our credibility as a society. His conviction and the conviction of those lawless individuals who gravitated to him seeking to purchase and corrupt his power and integrity is a resounding victory for Jefferson Parish, for Louisiana and for a tremendous and honorable judicial system, all of which deserved better than MR. GREEN provided. It is at once a vindication of the honor of the 24th Judicial District Court, and strong evidence of the strength of our commitment to seek out and eradicate corruption wherever we find it. We applaud Judge Africk’s sentence and offer GREEN’s conviction and prison terms as a warning to those who take the responsibility of honesty in public service lightly.”

Also speaking to today’s sentence, Special Agent in Charge James Bernazzani stated:

“The FBI and the U. S. Attorney’s Office take offenses like these very seriously. Judicial misconduct threatens the integrity of the criminal justice system itself. This long term investigation demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to follow the evidence wherever it takes us and however long it takes. In addition to this sentence, the events today will ensure that this individual will never preside in a court of law again.”

This matter was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael W. Magner, William P. Gibbens, and Duane A. Evans.

Attorney pleads not guilty to bail-bond kickback charges
By GREG HARDESTY

The Orange County Register

High-profile attorney Joseph Cavallo pleaded not guilty today to charges he allegedly operated an illegal kickback scheme involving jail inmates and bail bondsmen.

A judge set a trial-setting hearing for Dec. 2.

Cavallo, 50, was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly paying two bail-bonds agents to send clients to him for legal representation.

One of those agents, Jorge Andres Castro, also pleaded not guilty today. The other, Alejandro DeJesus Cruz, has been missing since October.

Cavallo is defending fired Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo in a public-corruption case, and recently represented sexual-assault defendant Gregory Haidl, son of another former assistant sheriff.
Mayor Takes Responsibility After FBI Arrest Cops for Accepting Bribes from Bail Bondsmen

Mayor John DeStefano uttered the magic words -- accepting "personal" "responsibility" for the ongoing police bribery and theft scandal -- as two new top cops took over the department's detective bureau.

DeStefano made the remark, sought by his critics, at a Friday press conference at police headquarters. The mayor and Police Chief Francisco Ortiz announced that the detective bureau will have a new boss, Lt. Patrick Redding; and a new second-in-command, Sgt. Lisa Dadio

The moves were the latest in a series of changes announced and planned for the department in the wake of last month's FBI sting of narcotics cops charged with pocketing cash taken from crime scenes and accepting bribes from bail bondsmen. The FBI was brought in after witnesses reported that detention center officers and jailors were seen “hanging out” with bondsman on numerous occasions. Subsequently other crimes were discovered by the police.

Officers indicted for bail bond corruption

Hartford, Connecticut- The New Haven Police Department's recently-fired head narc was formally indicted on corruption charges on April 25. William White, 63, chief of the New Haven drug squad, narcotics detective Justen Kasperzyk, 34, and three bail bondsmen were arrested a month ago after an eight-month investigation by state and federal authorities. Now, White is charged in the indictment with two counts of theft of government funds and bribery conspiracy after he was videotaped stealing money planted by the FBI in what he thought was a drug dealer's car. Kasperzyk was not mentioned in the indictments. The bail bondsmen were indicted for paying White and other officers bribes of up to $15,000 to track down clients who had become fugitives. They face up to 20 years in prison.

Conclusion from our Chief Editors at Large

For now we thank you for reading our newsletter. Currently we are in the process of putting a website on the net and archiving problems involving bail, bail agents, Jim Long’s DOI and its lack of regulation, etc. It is our wish that you will read this newsletter in its entirety, print it, and pass it on. As your contributions continue to come in, so will out newsletter continue to grow. What is normally swept under the rug and forgotten will remain here and on the net as an archive and testament in hopes that something will eventually be done. As it is said that history often repeats itself, it must also be noted that we must not forget. We must educate ourselves, the public, the voters and if necessary the feds. Investigations must be implemented and committees formed until the lack of regulation and corruption of our industry ceases.

Bailforumnc offers a $5000 Reward for any verifiable sworn affidavit that leads to the arrest and subsequent conviction of any corruption involving a bail bondsman, bail agent, runner and/or government official in collusion with the bail industry. The recipient of the reward must be able to go on record and be willing to testify about any and all industry related corruption. I thank you and I hope that you will buy and enjoy our book which will be published in mid to late 2008, “NC Corruption and the Bail Industry, Banana Republic or a Kangaroo Court?”

Jim Safros, Jarod Taylor

***Look for us on youtube.com-coming soon***

Do you have an incident to report that involves bail, bail agents or corruption? If so write us at: bailforumnc@yahoo.com

Repeal or tighten up the surety bail laws. Bring back the old professional. Return accountability and respectability to bail.

Please read and pass on.

New Hanover County Jail Corruption

THE BAIL INDUSTRY’S CORRUPTION REPORTER
“A FREE PUBLICATION DEDICATED TO THE EXPOSURE OF CORRUPTION IN THE BAIL COMMUNITY”
In a world where the pen is mightier than the sword, it is our belief that the net is the best tool to trap and expose and repair our industry’s corruption
contact us at: bailforumnc@yahoo.com September 2007

Staff Writer Pete Sunday

WARNING!!!FAILURE TO OBEY OR ENFORCE THE LAW MAY LAND YOU BELOW SOON!!!

Does the Shoe Fit?
Somewhere NC- Bail bonding outfit bribes jailors with pizzas, loans etc. Reports and complaints are being made about the new facility’s employees promoting one certain bail group. Shame on the new County Detention Center for violating various laws including 15A-541 and 58-71-105 as well as encouraging and assisting bondsmen to violate 58-71-95.6. . Prohibited practices; “No bail bondsman or runner shall: (6) Solicit business in any of the courts or on the premises of any of the courts of this State, in the office of any magistrate and in or about any place where prisoners are confined. Loitering in or about a magistrate’s office or any place where prisoners are confined shall be prima facie evidence of soliciting.”
Update: Bail ForumNC just learned that a New Hanover County jailor has been removed after an internal affairs investigation which included a polygraph examination. It appears that other jailors jobs may be in jeopardy for “shady” dealings with bail bondsman and investigators may now go after the bail agents that corrupted these jailors. More to come.

Clinton NC- Local bail group hiring attorneys to deprive school system of forfeited money. Bondsmen or in this case bondswomen bypassing forfeiture process altogether and buying time wrongfully at the court’s expense by getting orders for arrest recalled. This should be done by a defendant’s attorney, not the bondsman’s. This should also be done for good reason by a defendant that has intentions of appearing at some point. Violation of 58-71-95(2) as well as other statutes pertaining to defrauding the court should address these issues. But what about the girl that writes bail and is always seen “hanging out” in a certain magistrate’s offices? The chief district court judge should stop such.


Statewide NC- Not since the days of Capitol Bail Bonding has North Carolina been faced with such a saturation of unscrupulous, uneducated, ignorant, thugs that grab anything from 3-5% premiums. These new faces of bail could care less whether or not a defendant appears in court and are courtesy of power hungry, number scheme running general agencies that place as many agents in any given area as oxygen would allow. These shady agencies are destroying bail in the Tar Heel State and are accumulating a mountain of bail loss snowballs that are sure to collapse. Shame on the lawmakers that allow such as well as the Department of Insurance for its lack of enforcing regulations on the bail industry.


Raleigh NC- No they’re not criminals, crooks or defendants-or are they? They are your local bail agents. Just read their bright t-shirts as they advertise their respective-or irrespective businesses. Names like “hum-vee bail”, “sexy tail bail”, “yo moma 5%” and you figure the rest. Thumbs up to the sheriff for running these gangsters out of his facility. Too bad he can’t fumigate the outside parking areas surrounding the 100 foot barrier he established ridding these rodents even further.


Lumberton NC- Robeson County sheriff takes a strong stance to stop illegal solicitation by bondsman that sent an email to a head jailor. This bondsman who was a former disgraced drug detective was asking the jailor to “send him business”. Incidentally this bondsman, a former drug detective ousted by federal authorities during a recent clean up of corruption in the county, was denied a private investigator’s license by the State of North Carolina and had to go to our neighboring State of South Carolina to receive same. Jim Long’s DOI provided welcome arms and a new livelihood to this individual that is now overwhelmingly violating the solicitation law.


Greenville NC- Whatever happened to Jim Long’s DOI investigation of the Morris Moye “fictitious jailor/surrenders” of defendants that were never incarcerated in the Pitt County facility? OFAs not served, false court documents created and paperwork either “signed and/or forged” with hints of collusion by county personnel. Shame on Pitt and the DOI for sweeping this investigation that should have been turned over to the feds under the rug.
Charlotte NC-Reports that pretrial is on the rise again. Release at the taxpayer’s expense is not the answer. The Mecklenburg Association needs your help in combating the rise of county funded “anti-private bail”. More to come.
Seedy General Agents’ and Insurers’ Corner- Coming soon!


My Take
Just as unfair taxation created the robin hoods of Sherwood Forest and the Indians at Boston Harbor, so too have we been called to help expose and vigilantly write wrongs brought down upon the bail industry. Two major problems appear to be affecting the bail industry in North Carolina currently. The first and not less important than the next is a lack of regulation by Jim Long’s Department of Insurance. Secondly is given the near collapse of the Nation’s financial markets along with newer and newer agents being stacked on top of other agents, many of whom would not qualify to get a job at Wal-Marts being allowed into the industry. Concerns are being raised statewide regarding sending the insurance companies out of North Carolina, at least in regards to writing bail. Perhaps we should consider bringing the old professionals back exclusively. But first you would have to pry the insurance lobbyist away from Jim Long’s back.
That’s My Take.


None Dare Call it Treason-or Reason
It matters not if you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that our federal government is broken. Just as Washington needs an adjustment or fixing, so does the bail system in North Carolina. Why do you think that judges are outsourcing bail to pretrial agencies. Every new year in our state finds yet another tax payer funded alternative to the bail agent. In some counties bondsmen are having to compete against the local sheriff. Many counties have an officer that walks through the jail on a daily basis and actually acts as an attorney. This officer goes to the judge and arranges bond reductions by way of unsecured bonds and even in some cases works with or for an electronic monitoring program. Overcrowding has its consequences but so to does the new face of bail. Soliciting, pimp like kids that have no care about the future of the industry as well as their appearance flood the various jails. These embarrassments of the industry are making a lot of judges, clerks and magistrates take notice-and action. Rate cutting unprofessional looking thugs have moved the bail industry to the back seat as a viable answer to overcrowding. Yet somewhere today another agent is being added to the books of the racket running general agent. Laws must be put in place to stop this activity. Twelve hundred agents today, three thousand tomorrow. Five percent today, how low next week? ----- Original Message -----

From: Jamer Berner
To:
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 3:50 PM
Subject: The New Face of Bail Bonding

I was recently asked to do a profile of several different industries. The latter and perhaps the least favorite, I'll discuss here.

Describe the face of the Bail Bondsman in the New Millennium verses those of the past.

Ok. Sounds easy doesn't it? Well lets see, since my college days at North Carolina State where I gravitated from a job in agriculture to that "disgusting" law degree at the school with the hated light blue colors, a lot has certainly changed.

The bondsman of the previous decades were most certainly white males. No one can dispute that. They were mainly older, mid 50's as I recall. They were definitely well off, sometimes large property owners. You very seldom, if ever heard tell of one that couldn't pay a Clerk if money were due. You never heard of one that didn't have any money in the bank, wrote bad checks, or couldn't pay his bills. The bondsmen in summary were wealthier individuals that had a somewhat good reputation in the community. If you saw one on the street or in a courtroom, they were more times than not very well dressed, clean shaven and generally stood out in their community as an individual of respect. Sure you had your bad apples but then again don't we esteemed members of the bar have our skeletons as well?

Today as I sit inside of the courtroom I somewhat shift my eyes around as I usually do. It is often very easy to become prejudicial. I mean it is sometimes easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys.I began to write down all of my thoughts after nearly 40 years as an officer of the court. If I know one thing, I cannot tell these new "gangstas" from the good guys!

From what I have learned, Insurance Companies have gotten involved in Bail. It appears that the new face of bail is female and even African American. I guess I should be happy with the latter, since I too am African American. Ironically I am not as these new brothers do not represent me nor the civil rights leaders like Rev. Martin Luther King. Actually with words far worse than what any Imos could say, their appearance, misdemeanor and actions have damaged a culture that was "on the move" and beautiful. As best I can tell a lot of these so-called "insurance agents" normally do not have $500 in their bank account. And they write and guarantee bail for 10 times such? What is wrong with this picture? Who can fix this problem? The new face of bail will most definitely be the pre-trial release industry. Electronic monitoring staff look very much like the bondsmen of the past. Just ask any judge and I am sure that you will get the same viewpoint. Goodbye gansta insurance agents. Hello pretrial release.


EDITORIAL: Bail-Bond Industry in Need of Reform
By Connecticut Post, Bridgeport
Apr. 12--Recent notorious arrests in New Haven have placed the issue of reform of the bail-bond industry back before the General Assembly. Maybe this year the reforms will actually be voted.
The issue of better regulation of the multimillion dollar, often cut-throat, bail-bond business has bubbled in the Assembly since 2003 when the Program Review and Investigations Committee issued a blistering report that concluded the industry was feebly regulated by the state Department of Insurance.
Legislation to reform the business, based on the panel's report, was introduced in both the 2004 and 2005 sessions but was killed by a coalition of Latino and black lawmakers, including the outspoken ex-Sen. Ernest P. Newton, now serving federal prison time for political corruption. However, the arrests of three veteran New Haven bails bondsmen and two New Haven police officers last month by federal agents re-ignited the reform movement.
The bail bondsmen were charged with allegedly paying off-duty New Haven officers thousands of dollars in cash to track down missing defendants who fled after not showing up for court appearances.
Poor regulation by the Insurance Department, coupled with a dramatic increase in the number of bail bondsmen -- which translates into fiercer competition -- has led, authorities say, to a panoply of shady dealings, price-gouging and bidding wars with relatives who must post bond for family members.
Although a reform package was not introduced in the current Assembly session, Rep. Michael P. Lawlor, co-chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, vowed recently that there would be action this session.
Certainly, basic reforms such as mandating that bail-bond agents strictly follow current statutory percentages in extending bonds and preventing bidding wars by changing the manner in which agents submit payments to underwriters must be undertaken.
Transferring oversight from the lackadaisical Insurance Department to the Department of Public Safety would also improve regulation.
Bail bonds are big business in Connecticut. Some half billion dollars of bonds are underwritten annually in the state, even though 85 percent of those arrested each year are released without posting bond.
The number of bail bond firms in the state has more than doubled in the past five years from 52 to 130 and the number of bail bondsmen has increased from 241 to 450.
If the nefarious, cut-throat tactics omnipresent today can be reduced through reforms, then the Assembly must act this session.

Three Bail Bondsmen and a Police Lieutenant Indicted in New Haven
One month after being arrested, three bail bondsmen and a New Haven police lieutenant have been indicted by a grand jury on corruption charges. Officers William White and Justen Kasperzyk were both arrested and charged on various counts related to stealing government money. Charges against Kasperzyk are still pending, while White was indicted this past week. Following the arrests, New Haven police disbanded the narcotics unit that White headed. Bail bondsmen Robert Jacobs, Paul Jacobs and Philip Jacobs, were also arrested and charged with bribery conspiracy. The bondsmen offered White and other police officers bribes in order for the officers to track down bail skippers. (Connecticut - Hartford Courant, Apr. 25, 2007)
Legislative Reform for Bail Industry Gains Additional Support
A scandal in the New Haven Police Department, involving three bail bondsmen charged with bribing police officers, may be helping lobbyists change bail legislation. Three years ago, a reform plan to regulate the state's bail bondsmen was closely passed on by the General Assembly but is now again on the legislative agenda - and is quickly gaining support. This past week, chairmen of several key legislative committees voiced their support of the new rules. Chairmen of the Public Safety, Judiciary, Insurance, and Real Estate committees decided to act fast in attaching the suggested reforms to another piece of legislation. The new legislation would mean that the state's bail bondsmen would not be regulated by the Insurance Department - as they are now -- but by the Department of Public Safety. In addition, the process for recovering forfeited bonds would be overseen by the Department of Administrative Services, which is the body that files civil actions to recover money which is owed to the state. It is expected that far more forfeited bonds would be recovered if the reform becomes law. (Connecticut - New Haven Register, Apr. 24, 2007)
EDITORIAL: Clean Up The Bail Mess
By The Hartford Courant, Conn.
Apr. 2--If the latest scandal does not inspire legislative leaders to straighten out the bail bond industry, we'd like to know what it will take.
Earlier this month, three New Haven bail bondsmen, Robert Jacobs and his sons Paul and Philip, were arrested by federal authorities and charged with bribery conspiracy for allegedly paying New Haven police officers to hunt down criminal defendants who had skipped on bonds the Jacobses had posted. Two police officers were also arrested.
The arrests seemed to answer a question raised in a stinging 2003 report on the state's bail bond industry by the General Assembly's Program Review and Investigations Committee.
The committee's study found that some bondsmen were engaged in such shady business practices as loan-sharking on cash bonds, issuing fraudulent bonds, intimidation and illegally undercutting or rebating what are supposed to be fixed fees. Sometimes bondsmen physically fought each other for clients. The cutthroat, Wild West atmosphere was apparently prompted by a big influx of bondsmen and agents from an out-of-state company trying to grab market share. The report found the industry dangerously under-regulated.
Some wondered how bondsmen could charge illegally low rates on defendants who presented a high risk of jumping, theoretically forfeiting the bond. The New Haven arrests offer an answer -- bribe police officers to catch the skips.
All of this malfeasant nonsense should have been cleaned up with comprehensive legislation introduced in 2004 and again in 2005. Those bills would have transferred the entire oversight of the industry to the Department of Public Safety (most bondsmen, called surety bondsmen, are now regulated, feebly, by the Insurance Department), strengthened eligibility and license renewal standards, introduced training and eliminated the heavy discount bondsmen receive on forfeited bonds.
This was sensible legislation, and was supported by a majority of bondsmen. But opponents lobbied heavily, notably among black and Latino legislators, and killed it. One opponent of the bill, state Sen. Ernest E. Newton II of Bridgeport, later convicted on federal corruption charges, was a recipient of campaign contributions and favors from bail bondsmen, records indicate.
Though there is not a bail reform bill before the legislature this year, state Rep. Michael Lawlor, co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the New Haven scandal will be an impetus for such a measure, and said the details are being worked out. Let's fervently hope Mr. Lawlor is right.
This is corruption within the judicial system itself. It's more than embarrassing; it is shameful.

Los Angeles-A business practice among some high-volume bail bond companies has cost counties millions and placed public safety in jeopardy, according to a published report.
In an effort to increase their market share, some bail bond companies have loosened or done away with requirements for collateral when posting bail for criminal defendants, according to a review of records by the Los Angeles Times. The practice attracts more customers but provides less incentive for defendants to return to court and often leaves counties short millions of dollars in bail forfeitures, the paper reported Sunday.
The California Department of Insurance, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and others statewide are investigating alleged corruption that could lead to charges of perjury, conspiracy, obstruction of justice and unlawful business practices.
State officials have no comprehensive records of bail forfeitures. But Los Angeles County hasn't been able to collect at least $9.1 million in bail forfeitures in a two-year period ending in August 2003, according to the paper.
Of that amount, $5.9 million was attributed to bail bonds associated with Capital Bonding Corp., a Pennsylvania-based company.
Capital's president, Vincent Smith, recently stepped down at the insistence of the firm's bail bond insurer. Harco National Insurance Co. of Illinois took over Capital's operations last month after realizing that it could be liable for millions of dollars in delinquent bail in California and other states, Harco's attorneys said.
Jeff Stanley of San Jose-based Bad Boys Bail Bonds, the state's second-largest bail bond company, said his company and others have been unfairly targeted by officials because of the complaints of smaller firms that have lost market share.
Cooley filed perjury and forgery charges July 9 against one of Bad Boys' employees, Cindy Abreu, accusing the paralegal of filing false affidavits in court to delay payment of forfeitures. Abreu pleaded not guilty July 16 and declined to comment. She faces up to 11 years in prison if convicted.
Bail bondsmen in California traditionally have required defendants to pledge collateral, such as a home, to secure the full bail -- but that's not required under state law. The firms under investigation often skip it and sometimes discount the cash commission the defendant must pay, Cooley said.
Cooley estimates that uncollected bail forfeitures have cost Los Angeles County $30 million over the last three years. Statewide, unpaid forfeitures may total $100 million to $150 million over the same period, said Steve Krimel, a bail expert and attorney who represents a small bail firm that is losing out to high-volume competitors.


Cash Only Bail Breaks The Law
Durham NC- Some judges are imposing “Cash Only”, “US Currency”, and “Green Money” only as bail in pretrial conditions. This clearly violates a defendant’s civil liberties and rights to bail and turns a purpose designed to produce a defendant into a “fine”. NCGS 15A-531(4) states that “an appearance bond executed by a bail agent acting on behalf of an insurance company is the same as a cash bond”. These cash only judges are not allowing bail agents to post these “illegal” bonds. Case law can be found that establishes that defendants awaiting trial are entitled to bail and that acceptable bail “shall and must” be allowed to be posted by any competent surety. Is not a licensed bail agent considered competent in his state? Who pays the price of these judicial activist? The poor that cannot afford paying the entire bond? The minorities that usually have even less money? The taxpayers that have to eat the bill for a defendant that must remain incarcerated at the county’s expense? Studies have shown that every single minute a defendant is in the county’s care the county is exposed to “severe and intangible” risks that far outweigh the miniscule $40 bucks a day to feed, clothe and house them. Think about the cost the county would pay due to a suicide in the confines of its brick and mortar walls. What about a rape or some sort of debilitating injury or even worse-death. The senior resident superior as defined by statute is supposed to create a policy which defines the release guidelines in his district. This needs to be looked into and judges “denying bail” should be removed from the bench before the ACLU or some other nefarious group comes to the aid of the “innocent until proven guilty” due to their constitutional rights being violated.


Court rules Vt. bail law unconstitutional

MONTPELIER Vt- A law passed by the Legislature in 2002, allowing judges to impose "cash-only" bail on some defendants, violates the state Constitution, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday.
The court said that defendants in cases where bail is allowed must be permitted to provide a "surety" _ essentially a promise backed with money by a family member, friend or bail bondsman _ that they will appear for their trial.
In a case arising from Rutland County, the high court said Vermont District Court Judge Patricia Zimmerman ruled improperly when she imposed $60,000 cash bail on Henry J. Hance Jr.
Hance had been arrested on a felony charge of driving while intoxicated, eighth offense, possession of cocaine and driving while his license was suspended. He fled to South Carolina before his arraignment date, the high court said.
After five months on the lam, Hance was arrested in South Carolina, returned to Vermont and arraigned on the charges May 11.
At the arraignment, Zimmerman said there was "ample evidence" that Hance might run again. She said he could make bail only by producing $60,000 in cash. The ruling came after Hance's mother said she could put up the more commonly imposed 10 percent cash, or $6,000, and offer her property as guarantee, the justices said.
Judges can deny bail to someone charged with a crime that carries a possible life sentence and where evidence of guilt is great; they also can do so when there is strong evidence that the defendant would commit violence if released.
But in other cases, the justices said, "our Constitution makes clear that a defendant, who is after all presumed innocent, has liberty interests that must be balanced against the court's interest in securing his or her appearance."
The justices noted that the judge was careful to say that she was setting cash bail for Hance only to ensure that he would not skip bail again.
The court's decision quoted Zimmerman as saying, "bail is not being imposed to ensure your incarceration, Mr. Hance. It is being imposed to assure your appearance."
But the justices, in a decision written by Associate Justice Marilyn Skoglund, found that Zimmerman _ and the Legislature _ erred when they neglected language from the Vermont Constitution, which says that "all persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties."
"The distinction between a secured appearance and cash-only bail is significant from the standpoint of a defendant's liberty interests," the court said. It added that "when a court requires only a secured appearance bond, a defendant can avoid pre-trial confinement without posting cash or by posting a small percentage of the bail amount."

Jailors Fraternizing With Bail Agents

Anytown NC- Have you seen them? Perhaps you have been somewhere out to eat breakfast, or maybe even on a trip to Wal-Mart. The new bail agent in town and the “not so friendly” jailor-right in front of you. Then when the telephone stops ringing(after 20 years in business) you notice the new guy(or gal) constantly at the jail, passing out cards, soliciting, hanging out with the magistrate and on and on. The jailors that once greeted you with a smile look down as you go about your business. You arrive at the jail at 1am only to find a family reunion like atmosphere that includes jailors, a magistrate, cops and you guessed it-the new guy. Your client hands you the card that the jailors gave to him. Once again-the new guy. What do you do? Go straight to the shift leader. This only makes the problem worse. Higher up the ladder you go-to the captain. You realize that his smile is like that of a politician-after all he has bars on his collar. Very quickly you realize that an operation that has made you a good living for twenty years now has upset the very people that really hold the key to your livelihood. Sound familiar?
A recent complaint by a bondsman of over twenty years revealed that he noticed such activity as described above. He even witnessed jailors taking smoke breaks with a certain bail agent while this bail agent set on the hood of the sheriff’s car-ten feet in front of the door to the jail.
“Loans” being made to jailors by bail agents is common practice in some counties in this state. The new bail agent on the block has found a way to “break into the industry”. He often befriends unsuspecting jailors in a disguised attempt to obtain unfair competition over those that keep their professional distance and play by the rules. After all who wants to have to start out at the bottom and work their way up slowly-year by year. Solicitation and grafting laws must be enforced-even if you have to file a complaint at the federal level.

Hampton Va- Magistrate's Bail Bondsman and Clerk charged with Obstruction Of Justice
A Bail Bondsman and a Clerk at the Hampton Magistrate's office find themselves on the other side of the law. Both the Bail Bondsman, Kevin Owens, and the Clerk,Nellie Brown are behind bars. They have been charged with Misdemeanor Obstruction Of Justice.
Hampton Police obtained a search warrant on July 30th at the Magistrate's office for a residence in regards to narcotics. It's alleged that within moments of the warrant being signed a clerk in the Magistrate's office, Nellie Brown, told Owens, of the impending execution of a search warrant. Owens, then alerted the residents of the home to be searched, that a warrant had been issued.
Brown and Owens are scheduled for a hearing on August 20th. The clerk no longer works in Magistrate's office.
Former 24th Judicial District Court Judge Alan Green Sentenced to Prison Term
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and James Bernazzani, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Field Division, announced today that ALAN J. GREEN, former 24th Judicial District Court Judge, was sentenced today in Federal Court by United States District Judge Lance M. Africk to a period of fifty-one (51) months imprisonment. In addition to the prison term, Green was fined $50,000 and required to serve a period of three (3) years of supervised release upon his release from prison.
GREEN was convicted by a jury in federal court following trial on one count of mail fraud and deprivation of the honest services of a public official in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341 and 1346.
GREEN, the only one of fourteen charged and convicted defendants who went to trial, was convicted on Wednesday, June 29, 2005 of mail fraud involving his receipt of two $5,000 cash bribe payments which he received from convicted defendant Norman Bowley on behalf of Bail Bonds Unlimited. During the trial, prosecutors elicited the testimony of conduct by Green and others who participated in the corruption of his office on behalf of Bail Bonds Unlimited, establishing that GREEN’S conduct resulted in not only the deprivation of his honest services to the citizens of Jefferson Parish and the State, but also actual harm to the community and its citizens as a result of serious crimes by individuals GREEN released on reduced bonds as part of his corrupt scheme to benefit Bail Bonds Unlimited. United States District Judge Lance Africk provided a nine page “Reasons for Sentence” which the Court read into the record prior to the imposition of GREEN’s prison term. During the Court’s presentation, U. S. District Judge Africk referenced his careful consideration of the individual characteristics of the offender, the pre-sentence investigation and the offender’s role in the offense. Citing numerous actions by GREEN and others which were revealed during trial testimony, evidencing his participation in the corruption of GREEN’s own office, the Court went on to sentence GREEN to fifty-one (51) months imprisonment.
In imposing today’s sentence, U. S. District Judge Lance Africk, as part of a lengthy explanation of his reasons for sentencing GREEN to prison, stated:
“It is your conduct that put the citizens of this community at risk. Bail Bonds Unlimited saw a for sale sign on your office and decided to purchase it in order to maximize its profits.”
Commenting on today’s proceedings, United States Attorney Jim Letten stated:
“Former Judge ALAN GREEN, who was sentenced to over four years imprisonment today by the United States District Court as a result of his disgraceful and horrific conduct as a sitting judge is the fourteenth defendant in this important corruption operation to be sentenced to date. More importantly, defendant GREEN’S conduct was the focus and the linchpin of a large, profoundly corrupt scheme which depended on the sale of GREEN’s office and integrity as a judge to fund illegal profit by unscrupulous bail bondsmen at the expense of the safety and trust of the citizens of Louisiana. No crime is so disgraceful or shameful as the sacrifice of the integrity of a judicial office, or the violation of the sacred trust which citizens put in judges and other public servants in the criminal justice system. Sadly, MR. GREEN’s is the embodiment of the kind of corruption which unfortunately has scarred and in many ways harmed our Louisiana judicial system, our governmental functions, and our credibility as a society. His conviction and the conviction of those lawless individuals who gravitated to him seeking to purchase and corrupt his power and integrity is a resounding victory for Jefferson Parish, for Louisiana and for a tremendous and honorable judicial system, all of which deserved better than MR. GREEN provided. It is at once a vindication of the honor of the 24th Judicial District Court, and strong evidence of the strength of our commitment to seek out and eradicate corruption wherever we find it. We applaud Judge Africk’s sentence and offer GREEN’s conviction and prison terms as a warning to those who take the responsibility of honesty in public service lightly.”
Also speaking to today’s sentence, Special Agent in Charge James Bernazzani stated:
“The FBI and the U. S. Attorney’s Office take offenses like these very seriously. Judicial misconduct threatens the integrity of the criminal justice system itself. This long term investigation demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to follow the evidence wherever it takes us and however long it takes. In addition to this sentence, the events today will ensure that this individual will never preside in a court of law again.”
This matter was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael W. Magner, William P. Gibbens, and Duane A. Evans.
Attorney pleads not guilty to bail-bond kickback charges
By GREG HARDESTY
The Orange County Register
High-profile attorney Joseph Cavallo pleaded not guilty today to charges he allegedly operated an illegal kickback scheme involving jail inmates and bail bondsmen.
A judge set a trial-setting hearing for Dec. 2.
Cavallo, 50, was indicted by a grand jury for allegedly paying two bail-bonds agents to send clients to him for legal representation.
One of those agents, Jorge Andres Castro, also pleaded not guilty today. The other, Alejandro DeJesus Cruz, has been missing since October.
Cavallo is defending fired Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo in a public-corruption case, and recently represented sexual-assault defendant Gregory Haidl, son of another former assistant sheriff.


Mayor Takes Responsibility After FBI Arrest Cops for Accepting Bribes from Bail Bondsmen
Mayor John DeStefano uttered the magic words -- accepting "personal" "responsibility" for the ongoing police bribery and theft scandal -- as two new top cops took over the department's detective bureau.
DeStefano made the remark, sought by his critics, at a Friday press conference at police headquarters. The mayor and Police Chief Francisco Ortiz announced that the detective bureau will have a new boss, Lt. Patrick Redding; and a new second-in-command, Sgt. Lisa Dadio
The moves were the latest in a series of changes announced and planned for the department in the wake of last month's FBI sting of narcotics cops charged with pocketing cash taken from crime scenes and accepting bribes from bail bondsmen. The FBI was brought in after witnesses reported that detention center officers and jailors were seen “hanging out” with bondsman on numerous occasions. Subsequently other crimes were discovered by the police.
Officers indicted for bail bond corruption
Hartford, Connecticut- The New Haven Police Department's recently-fired head narc was formally indicted on corruption charges on April 25. William White, 63, chief of the New Haven drug squad, narcotics detective Justen Kasperzyk, 34, and three bail bondsmen were arrested a month ago after an eight-month investigation by state and federal authorities. Now, White is charged in the indictment with two counts of theft of government funds and bribery conspiracy after he was videotaped stealing money planted by the FBI in what he thought was a drug dealer's car. Kasperzyk was not mentioned in the indictments. The bail bondsmen were indicted for paying White and other officers bribes of up to $15,000 to track down clients who had become fugitives. They face up to 20 years in prison.

Conclusion from our Chief Editors at Large
For now we thank you for reading our newsletter. Currently we are in the process of putting a website on the net and archiving problems involving bail, bail agents, Jim Long’s DOI and its lack of regulation, etc. It is our wish that you will read this newsletter in its entirety, print it, and pass it on. As your contributions continue to come in, so to will our newsletter continue to grow. What is normally swept under the rug and forgotten will remain here and on the net as an archive and testament in hopes that something will eventually be done. As it is said that history often repeats itself, it must also be noted that we must not forget. We must educate ourselves, the public, the voters and if necessary the feds. Investigations must be implemented and committees formed until the lack of regulation and corruption of our industry ceases.
Bailforumnc offers a $5000 Reward for any verifiable sworn affidavit that leads to the arrest and subsequent conviction of any corruption involving a bail bondsman, bail agent, runner and/or government official in collusion with the bail industry. The recipient of the reward must be able to go on record and be willing to testify about any and all industry related corruption. I thank you and I hope that you will buy and enjoy our book which will be published in mid to late 2008, “NC Corruption and the Bail Industry, Banana Republic or a Kangaroo Court?”
Jim Safros, Jarod Taylor
Bondsman’s Advocate in North Carolina
By James Pelingro

Several years ago North Carolina Courts and the bail industry were under a virulent attack. This dual war was being waged by none other than Vincent Smith and his illustrious and self proclaimed “Wal-Mart of bail”. Enter Honorable Brian Shipwash, Davidson County Clerk of Court. This young and articulate clerk of court single handedly went up against the notorious Capital Bail Bonding and after Shipwash calling it out into the street at high noon, fell swiftly to the ground. Shame on the North Carolina Department of Insurance for their failure to properly regulate and protect the bail industry-and North Carolina’s court system. Shipwash is a staunch supporter of the ethical side of the bail industry in North Carolina and can list many reasons why he feels that bail is an important part of the criminal justice system. However for the unethical and unscrupulous bondsman he has no sympathy or compassion. The only problem with the Honorable Shipwash is that he is but one person. This publication believes that one person can make a difference as Brian Shipwash has proven.

Is bail and Pretrial Release polices making bail more unsecure?
It appears that one responsibility of the Resident Superior in each district is to write a pretrial release policy that the magistrates must go by when considering bail. Guess who has become the last option on the list-the bail agent. Districts allow property owners, family members and others to sign bonds from $4999 to $29999. The problem is that many of these accommodation bondsmen have little if no equity in their properties. Magistrates only looking at tax documents cannot get a fair assessment of the equity in these properties and thereby leave the school system holding the bag on forfeited bonds to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars in some counties. Unfortunately a lot of people think very little of placing their right hand on a Bible and swearing to a lie. The children go lacking when a bondsman is not on any forfeited bond. One clerk of court reports $290k in uncollected judgments in 2006 alone. “We just cannot go after the property owner like we can the bondsman. No body wants to rock the boat. After all these are taxpayers and I am an elected official.” Another clerk says that she doubts if any of the property owners she sees signing bonds have $500 dollars to pay even though judges in her county are allowing them to sign for bonds up to $5000. Systems should be put in place that state that any and all bail bonds done by property owners should be accompanied by a deed of trust certified by an attorney. Don’t these court officials realize that bonds not posted by a professional or surety bondsman are 46 times more likely to fail to appear?(Department of Justice, 2001, program perspectives manual statistics on overcrowding) Do they not see the accumulation of bench warrants that the sheriff must delegate more deputies to handle? A bondsman on a bond guarantees that the sheriff will have extra personnel (at no cost to the taxpayer) working on locating a fugitive long after the OFA has been returned to the clerk’s office unserved. If not located, there is money that must be paid into the school system-a win win situation. It should be noted that property owners swearing to having adequate property to sign a bond when they in fact don’t are committing a crime themselves.

“Bail bondsmen play an important and often underrated role in influencing pretrial case handling and the size of jail populations.” A Second Look at Alleviating Jail Overcrowding, a Systems Perspective. US Attorney General Janet Reno, October 2000 NCJ 182507.

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Do you have an incident to report that involves bail, bail agents or corruption? If so write us at: bailforumnc@yahoo.com

Repeal or tighten up the surety bail laws. Bring back the old professional. Return accountability and respectability to bail.
Please read and pass on.

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