Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Former bail bonds agent sentenced to prison
A former bond agent from Cambridge appeared in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court last week to answer to more than 100 crimes she committed as a trusted partner of the justice system and begin her prison sentence.
For a time, the 53-year-old operated the business she founded in 2014, Anytime Bail Bonds, legitimately.
The bonding system for felony cases works in the following way: A judge sets a surety bond for a defendant (ex., $100,000). Thereafter, a defendant can contact a bonding agent in order to post bond. In order to post the bond, the defendant pays money to the bonding agent. Historically, the amount a bonding agent charged was 10 percent (for example, $10,000).
After the bonding agent is paid by the defendant, the bonding agent will contact a “bondsman,” who is a contractor for an insurance company. To obtain the necessary “surety” for the court, the bondsman charges the bonding agent 10 percent of the 10 percent collected by the bonding agent from the defendant (for example, $1,000).
Once the bondsman has been paid, he also charges the bonding agent the fee required by an insurance company to pay the surety if the defendant does not appear. That fee is 17.5 percent of the 10 percent of the 10 percent (for example $175).
The insurance company then provides the bonding agent with a “power of attorney” to present to the court in the amount of the full bond. If the defendant fails to appear for court, and if the court chooses to pursue the bond, the insurance company must pay the court the full amount of the bond (for example $100,000).
Over time, competition in the bonding market, in combination with a widespread practice of courts not pursuing bond forfeitures, resulted in bonding agents being willing to accept a lesser fee than 10 percent from an incarcerated person to secure their release. It is typical on a case today that a defendant can pay 1.25 percent of the court’s specified bond to get out of jail. (For example, paying $1,250 on a $100,000 bond).
Boyd developed a scam wherein she would forge the power of attorney to the court, claiming it was worth more than it was. At the same time she would under report to the bondsman and insurance company the amount of the bond, so that she paid less on their fees.
The losses mounted to $270,000 and were discovered when Mitchell Coleman, a felony defendant in Muskingum County, skipped on his $200,000 bond. When the insurance company was asked to pay the bond, they reported that they only owed $30,000, according to their power of attorney.
The investigation showed that Boyd forged documents in courts in Muskingum, Guernsey, Noble, Belmont, and Coshocton counties on 78 occasions. The prosecutors offices from those counties all agreed to pursue a joint prosecution through Muskingum County.
On 111 occasions, Boyd defrauded the bondsman and the insurance company by under-reporting the value of bonds she wrote.
Boyd pled guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree, forgery a felony of the third degree, theft a felony of the fourth degree, and seven counts of tampering with government records felonies of the third degree.
The state recommended five years of prison. Boyd was sentenced to four years and 11 months of prison and received credit for having served 30 days prior to sentencing.
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