News: 2010 Press Release
For Release: July 7, 2010
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Announces Former Los Angeles Bail Agent Arrested, Charged for Allegedly Stealing $30,000 in Bond Collateral
Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that Arturo Miramontes, 40, a former Los Angeles bail agent was arrested and charged with two felony counts of grand theft for allegedly taking $30,000 in bond collateral and failing to return the collateral to his client when it was due.
"Stealing from clients is not a wise way for a bail agent to make a quick buck," said Commissioner Poizner. "Department of Insurance investigators are constantly tracking suspicious behavior and will not allow scam artists to get away with their crimes."
If convicted, he faces a maximum of 3 years and 8 months in prison. Miramontes is currently out on bail and due in court on July 22 for arraignment.
The theft allegedly took place while Miramontes was doing business as Rodeo Bail Bonds in Whittier. In December 2007, the victim, while incarcerated in Ventura County, contacted Miramontes to arrange for his release. Miramontes went to the jail and met with the victim. The victim paid Miramontes $9,600 for the bail bond premium. He also gave Miramontes a $30,000 check for the bond collateral. In July 2008, the court exonerated the victim's bail bond and the victim contacted Miramontes to return his $30,000. Miramontes allegedly told the victim that the money would be returned in a week. Miramontes allegedly did not return the money. Approximately six months later, Miramontes purportedly told the victim that he did not have the money because a partner had allegedly stolen it.
The victim then filed a complaint with the California Department of Insurance (CDI). After CDI contacted the surety company identified in the bond, the surety company conducted its own investigation. In April 2009, the surety company sent a $30,000 check to the victim. The surety company also discovered that Miramontes allegedly failed to remit a required $1,600 payment to the surety company for the bond that was executed for the victim, and he allegedly did not reimburse the $30,000 to the surety company.
Miramontes' bail agent license became inactive on January 1, 2009.
This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Commissioner Poizner oversees sixteen CDI Enforcement Branch regional offices throughout the state. Nearly 2,800 insurance fraud-related arrests have been made by CDI since Commissioner Poizner took office in 2007 - more arrests than have been made during any other three year period, under any previous insurance commissioner.
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