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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces sentencing of former Van Nuys Bail Agent for Grand Theft

Dave Althausen
December 30, 2011 9:07 AM

On August 23, 2011, former Bail Agent Stephanie Dianne Johnson, 55, plead guilty to one felony count for violating Penal Code section 487, Grand Theft. Johnson had previously surrendered her bail agent license in 2010. As part of her felony plea agreement, Johnson was sentenced to 90-days in jail, five years felony probation and ordered to pay $7,235.00 in restitution, plus $470.00 in fines and court fees.

An investigation revealed that from February 2009 through April 2009, Johnson executed 13 bail bonds with a total face value of $390,000.00.  She collected no less than $34,000.00 in gross premiums from 12 of the 13 defendants that she bailed out of custody. Investigators found that she failed to remit $5,070.00 in net premiums due to the Surety. Instead, she diverted these funds for her own personal use.

The investigation also revealed that Johnson failed to return or account for 11 bail bonds with a total face value of $250,000.00 which were worth $3,250.00 in premiums. These bonds were recovered in April 2011 and upon further investigation it was determined that she had executed nine of these bonds, representing a loss of $1,885.00 to the Surety. The two remaining bonds were voided.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Public Integrity Division prosecuted the case.



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