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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bondsman Charged with Forging POA

Late yesterday, The Lake Sun Leader posted this dramatic headline: “Bail bondsman busted: Wild Bill charged with forging another bondsman’s name to document.” According to the article, bondsman Billy Mack Snyder was charged with forging his former general agent’s name to a power of attorney form. The article quoted court documents, “...on or about August 31st, 2007, in the County of Camden, State of Missouri, the defendant, with the purpose to defraud, made a writing, to wit: a Power of Attorney dated August 31, 2007 and purporting to have been signed by Ben Hilton in the face amount of $150,000.00 bearing sequence number 00001 so that it purported to have a genuineness and authorship which it did not possess, and defendant used such forged Power of Attorney to post a surety bond for one John Anthony Kelemen in the account of Camden County, Missouri, resulting in John Anthony Kelemen being released from jail.” Snyder was released after he posted a $10,000 surety bond.

Snyder has been licensed since 1997 and now works under the authority of Michael McMahon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Jail to Bail Article Wins Honors

The Columbia Missourian’s investigative report “From Jail to Bail” won honors in the 2008 Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest for Best Investigative Reporting. The article exposed felons licensed as bail bond agents in Missouri and how they are regulated. A list of all 2008 winners here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Charges Filed Against Bondsman for Stealing

Cape Girardeau Prosecutor Morley Swingle has filed a felony stealing charge against licensed bail bond agent Simon Ebenstein of Jackson, MO. According to court records, in November 2007, Ebenstein wrote a $30,000 bond in Cape Girardeau County. The probable cause statement alleges that Ebenstein accepted a check for $3,000 in payment for the bond. Four months later, Ebenstein filed a report with his general agent, Bob Griffin, reporting that he had only collected $1,500 and had discounted the remaining $1,500 premium because the fee had been paid by a church.

According to court records Sam Griffin obtained a copy of the cancelled check and presented it to law enforcement officials, who then filed a probable cause statement with the prosecutor. Ebenstein was arrested last week and posted a $7,500 cash only bond.

Ebenstein has been licensed since 2000 and now works under the authority of Barry Block. The DIFP has not filed any disciplinary complaints against Ebenstein at this time.

SE Missourian Coverage

Saturday, September 20, 2008

UT-Bondsman Arrested for Kidnapping

According to this report in The Daily Herald in Provo, UT, a bail bondsman has been arrested for stepping over the line while trying to track down a client, police say. Pablo Alcalde, 60, of West Jordan, UT, was tracking down a man who jumped bail. The man had been arrested on a domestic violence charge. The man was released from the Utah County Jail after posting a bond through Alcalde before disappearing.

Police say Alcalde exceeded his authority when he went to the home of a relative of the fugitive and forced his way in. Police say he handcuffed a male in-law and threatened to hurt him if he didn't help find the bail jumper. Alcalde then allegedly took the in-law to another relative's home where he once again forced his way in. He found the wife of the man for whom he was looking and handcuffed her as well, after she told Alcalde that she didn't know where her husband was, police say.

Alcalde allegedly forced her from the home and put her into his car to look for locations where her husband might be. When Alcalde would stop any place to look for the woman's husband, he would handcuff her and the other man to an interior door handle to keep them in the car while he was looking, police say. Unable to find the bail jumper, Alcalde released the two on a street corner.

Detectives worked the case and were able to identify Alcalde as the suspect. He was located at his home in West Jordan on Tuesday morning and taken into custody without incident and booked into the Utah County Jail. He's being held for felony burglary and kidnapping as well as misdemeanor assault, auto burglary and theft. Bail was set at $200,000. Cash only.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Ebb and Flow of Bail Bond Market

There is an interesting article printed in the Maryland Daily Record regarding the changing state of the bail bond industry. The article discusses advertising practices, discounting, and the future of bail. It's worth the click.