Serving Missouri with timely information about issues of the bail bond industry.

Although Missouri Bondsman encourages debate on topics of interest to the bail industry, please be aware that comments are moderated. Please observe the posting rules. No comments will be printed that contain spam, profanity, or libelous comments. Please post comments in a civil, professional manner.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Recent Licensing Actions

The DIFP regularly reports on investigative matters resulting in voluntary fines paid by license holders to the Missouri School Fund in order to settle matters before the department. The agreement states that the license holder agrees to pay the fine without admission of violation of the law.

The following bondsmen paid voluntary forfeitures of $100 for department allegations of misrepresentation on a bail bond license application: Jerry Tibbs, Bart Cooper, Casey Clark, Warren Rogers, Tasha Streckfus, Mark Bailey, and Joseph Hill.

The department also reported voluntary fines paid by the following:

Jo Anna Ray-Allegation of failing to file a monthly affidavit as required by RSMO 374.760. $300

Lloyd Brown-DIFP allegation of failing to file a monthly affidavit as required by RSMO 374.760. $300

David Vinson-Allegation of failing to file a monthly affidavit as required by RSMO 374.760 and failing to respond in writing during a department investigation. $400

James Sheats-DIFP allegation of writing bonds while his bail bond license was expired, failing to account for all power of attorney forms and failing to remit sums due to the general agent by failing to report seven bonds written. $400

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Website Poll

For those of you who read Missouri Bondsman by email or feed reader, now is your chance to interact. Missouri Bondsman is hosting a poll on a proposal to increase the general agent’s assigned CD to $25,000 and to also require a $5,000 CD per agent working under a general agent’s authority. You can visit Missouri Bondsman to register your vote.

For those of you who have asked for a forum to discuss the issue, here’s how you can register your thoughts. Click on the “COMMENT HERE” link below this post. You can post by several log in IDs or post using your name, or anonymously. Comments are moderated for profanity or spam. There are pros and cons to any proposal, so if you have thoughts you would like to share, let the rest of the bail bond community know how you feel.

UPDATE: Please observe the posting rules. Although Missouri Bondsman encourages debate on topics of interest to the bail industry, please be aware that comments are moderated. No comments will be printed that contain spam, profanity, or libelous comments. Participatory democracy works, please do so in a civil, professional manner.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

AHC Issues Decision in Loughary Case

The Administrative Hearing Commission has issued a decision on the case of Edward Loughary, who received a notice of refusal when he filed for renewal of his bail bond license in 2007. The DIFP refused to renew Loughary’s license because he had pleaded guilty in 1993 in US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, to mail fraud in which he admitted to falsely reporting a vehicle as stolen to his insurance company. Loughary was sentenced to two months in prison and two years supervised release. According to the AHC, Loughary did not disclose his 1993 conviction on his initial application for licensing in 2003 or on his renewal in 2005. Loughary claimed he thought he did not have to disclose convictions after 10 years. In 2006, Loughary’s conviction came to the attention of the DIFP. When Louhary applied for a renewal in 2007, the DIFP refused to renew his license.

In making its decision, the AHC ruled that Missouri Supreme Court Rule 33.17 prohibits the acceptance of surety on a bail bond if the person has pleaded guilty to a felony within the State of Missouri or the United States within the last fifteen years. The AHC noted that the word “shall” in supreme court rule removes the AHC’s discretion in considering the rehabilitation of a licensees when reviewing cases involving those with felony convictions or convictions involving moral turpitude.

DIFP Actions on Bail Licensees

The DIFP has reported the following licensing actions on its website:

The Department granted a bail bond license under special conditions to John A. Jackson, who recently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DWI in Scott County. The conditions state that Jackson must report any violation of his probation agreement, waive privacy to discuss his case with Department personnel, report successful completion of probation, and pay $100 to the Missouri School Fund.

The DIFP refused to renew the bail bond license of David D. Ingram of Platte City. According to the Department’s website, Ingram pleaded guilty in 1996 to possession of a controlled substance. The Department’s letter of refusal indicates that Ingram received a suspended imposition of sentence, which was not disclosed on his renewal application. Ingram has 30 days to appeal the DIFP’s decision.

The DIFP reports that it has granted a bail bond license under special conditions to Michael C. Miller of Rolla. According to the DIFP’s website, Miller failed to disclose misdemeanor court actions in Phelps and Webster Counties. Miller must report any violation of his probation agreement, waive privacy to discuss his case with the DIFP, report successful completion of his probation, and pay $100 to the Missouri School Fund.

The DIFP refused to renew the bail bond license of Melissa Schroeder of Cuba. The DIFP alleges that Schroeder failed to disclose that she was "found guilty" of possession of a controlled substance in Crawford County. Schroeder exercised her right to file a complaint with the Administrative Hearing Commission. Her case is scheduled to be heard on March 12th.

The Department has refused to renew Michael Cherry’s bail bond license. It is alleged that Cherry failed to disclose a 1992 suspended imposition of sentence in Cass County for felony nonsupport. Cherry has filed for a hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission and it scheduled to be heard on March 12th.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

AR-Bondsman Holds Rape Suspect for Police

AR-According to this report at KNWA-TV, an Arkansas bondsman, John Collins, and a truck driver, Sam Hollomon, are being called good Samaritans after they held a rape suspect until police could arrive. Collins held rape suspect Kevin Baltz at a gas station in West Fork, after the E-Z mart employee reported that Baltz raped her in the store's restroom. The employee reported to Hollomon that she had just been raped by a man exiting the gas station. Police say Baltz had lured her into the bathroom reporting that the toilet was not working. When the employee went into the bathroom, Baltz followed her in and raped her. Hollomon confronted the accused rapist in the parking lot. Baltz tried to escape and hit a pole in the parking lot, disabling his vehicle. Collins arrived and held Baltz until police arrived. At this time, Baltz is being held without bond.

Friday, January 23, 2009

AL-Bail Companies Accused of Hacking Sheriff's Computer

AL-According to a report from the Mobile Press-Register, three Mobile County, Alabama bail bond companies have been accused of hacking into the Sheriff's Office Web site to get personal information on inmates and gain a competitive advantage. According to the report, bonding agents at A to Z Bail Bonds, Central Bonding and Bandit Bail Bonds somehow obtained a login and password allowing them access to a protected portion of the Web site, Sheriff Sam Cochran said. The companies are accused of using that information to contact inmates' relatives and get their business. That gave the companies a leg up on their competitors, who rely on walk-ins and cold calls from the inmates themselves, Cochran said.

No arrests have been made, but charges could be filed later as the investigation progresses, Cochran said. Deputies served search warrants at the bonding companies seizing seven computers in the process. The sheriff reported that two computers at the companies were still logged onto the site when deputies walked in the door.

Clint Ulmer, who runs Bandit Bail Bonds, didn't deny accessing the jail Web site. On the contrary, he said that he and just about every other bonding company had a password and accessed the Web site on a regular basis. Ulmer said that the password his company used was given to him by a sheriff's deputy. Investigators are still trying to find out how the password was leaked.

The Sheriff's Office began its investigation after receiving complaints from other bonding companies, Cochran said. In order to find out who was accessing the site, he said, technicians planted false contact information in the system. When representatives from the companies called to solicit business, they were talking to undercover deputies instead of family members, the sheriff said.

Bounty Hunting in Cyberspace

Last weekend I went bounty hunting in Cyberia. It was an exciting adventure, but I don't think I'll go back unless I must. If you don’t know the culture of hunting in cyberspace, you are in for an awakening.

A friend of mine contacted me several weeks ago and asked that I assist him in locating a fugitive. After several road trips and sleepless nights we were out of leads. We had heard that the fugitive was a known computer hacker and whiz on the Internet. I thought it would be worthwhile to follow this lead.

I located the fugitive on several social networking sites, found his user ID on another site and we began our hunt in Cyberia. We were able to contact the fugitive through a chat site. BIG MISTAKE! While the fugitive chatted about how he was able to hack anyone, he recognized my presence on his social networking site. Although I still do not understand how he accomplished the hack, the fugitive was able crash the operating system on my computer.

Here’s what you can do to learn from my mistakes. Social networking sites like Myspace, Facebook, etc. are a great resource for learning about people, their interests, friends and contacts. Savvy computer users can gain useful information on sites which host personal information. However, explore these sites with caution and be aware that there also risks to using these tools. Hackers are finding new ways to exploit these sites. And beware that as you are collecting informtaion on a site, someone may also be collecting information from you.

(I know you are wondering-did we get the fugitive. The answer is yes! The fugitive made one mistake when he left Cyberia.)

For more reading see: Social Network Sites Could Become a Hacker's Playground

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Men Sentenced in Fugitive Recovery Case

Former bondsman Steven Morgan and his son, Brandon Morgan, have pleaded guilty to charges resulting from a fugitive recovery incident in Jefferson County. Steven Morgan has pleaded guilty to felonious restraint, armed criminal action and property damage. The judge sentenced him to five years in DOC and suspended execution of sentence and placed him on five years supervised probation. Steven Morgan is no longer licensed as a bail bond agent after he let his license lapse. No disciplinary action has been initiated by the DIFP at this time. The younger Morgan pleaded guilty to two counts of felonious restraint and acting as a surety recovery agent without a license. Brandon Morgan was sentenced to three years in DOC, execution of sentence was suspended, and he was placed on five years supervised probation.

According to initial press reports, the men forced entry at a residence where they believed a fugitive to be staying. The fugitive was not at the residence and the residents denied knowing the suspect. According to reports, a couple was held at gunpoint. The police were summoned by the residents and charges resulted three months after the incident.

Three other men, bondmen Thaddeus Bibb and Randall Avett, and an unlicensed man, Rudolph Whiston, were also charged. Their cases are currently pending in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County. Bibb has allowed his license to lapse and Avett currently works under the authority of Rick Adams.

Previous Post:
Charges Filed Against 3 Bondsmen

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Recovery Team Encounters Armed Fugitive

A fugitive recovery team encountered a dangerous situation last week as they attempted to apprehend fugitive Kevin Gwinn in St. Joseph. According to this report in the St. Joseph News-Press, the incident started when the Allison Bonding team obtained entrance to the Gwinn’s residence. Gwinn produced a gun and he team evacuated the residence and alerted police. When officers arrived, Gwinn came outside brandishing a 9 mm Ruger pistol with the hammer back. The report stated that he flourished the pistol and also put the pistol to his head threatening to shoot himself. Gwinn allegedly told officers they were going to have to kill him. Police warned Gwinn that they would use a Taser and fired multiple Taser guns and the resulting shocks knocked the man to the ground where officers were able to overpower him and seize the Ruger. Police obtained warrants alleging Mr. Gwinn with possession of an illegal weapon in Buchanan County, passing bad checks in Andrew County and a warrant from Iowa. Gwinn faces the possibility of additional charges in Buchanan County.

According to the report, the actions of the recovery team were also reviewed and considered to be legal.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Bond Jumper Jumps

FL-According to this report at, a fugitive jumped from a second story balcony to avoid apprehension by his bail bondsman. The jump landed him in the hospital. He was wanted for sale and possession of cocaine, failure to appear in court, and driving with a license suspended or revoked, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office