I am sorry to see this happen; however, it doesn’t surprise me, and I am sure this is a statewide epidemic with solicitation in county jails which we DO NOT participate in. We have been in business for over 40 years, and value the rules and regulations set in place for our industry and follow them accordingly. See article below:
More than 30 bail bondsmen targeted in sting
SAN JOSE — Bail bondsmen are allowed to troll for customers outside the courthouse, where inmates’ families and jail visitors constantly stream by. What they’re not permitted to do is to accept phone tips from inmates about fellow prisoners in order to drum up new business. But that’s what authorities are accusing dozens of San Jose bondsmen of doing. Thursday night, law enforcement officials descended on a strip of bail bond businesses along First Street near the Hall of Justice, armed with more than 30 felony arrest warrants, according to sources close to the investigation and witnesses who saw the action. It was not immediately clear how many licensed bail agents were arrested or from which companies.
But the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office confirmed it has filed charges, which are public record, against the bail agents. However, prosecutors declined to provide a copy of the criminal complaint.The joint sting operation was run by the state Department of Insurance, which licenses bondsmen, and the District Attorney’s Office. At least a few other warrants will also be served elsewhere in the Bay Area. Authorities consider bondsmen taking phone tips from inmates to be engaging in an unfair business practice. Among other problems it poses the risk that inmates will accept kickbacks from bail bondsmen, including money added to their commissary books. Sources close to the investigation said the evidence against the agents includes recorded phone conversations between inmates and the agents. The investigation is continuing. If the agents are convicted, they risk losing their licenses and/or paying a fine. They may also wind up serving time in jail, but how much, if any, depends on whether the charges are reduced to misdemeanors or not. A spokeswoman for the Department of Insurance declined to comment.
Contact Tracey Kaplan at 408-278-3482. Follow her at Twitter.com @tkaplanreport.