Department of Insurance investigation leads to arraignment of Orange County bail agents
News: 2022 Press Release
LOS ANGELES — Unlicensed bail agent Jimmy Mai, 35, of Irvine, and licensed bail agent Jonathan Lahmani, 42, of Orange, were each arraigned today in Los Angeles Superior Court on one felony count of negotiating bail without a license following an investigation by the California Department of Insurance.
The investigation revealed Mai, who was denied a bail license by the Department in 2017, solicited an arrestee’s family members for bail services. Selling bail bonds and other forms of insurance without a license from the Department of Insurance is illegal under California law. Although the arrestee’s mother informed Mai that she had secured bail services elsewhere, a Bail Bonds Direct agent still posted the bond.
Mai attempted to coerce the arrestee to pay for the unauthorized bond while Lahmani attempted to get signatures on the already posted bond to legitimize the transaction. When the arrestee refused to do so, since his mother had already paid a different bail agency, Bail Bonds Direct, Mai, and Lahmani attempted to have the arrestee arrested for a violation of his bail conditions.
In March 2022, the Department took legal action against Bail Bonds Direct, its owners Adi Roth and Jennifer Roth, and bail agent Jonathan Lahmani, for bail regulatory violations.
The Department began its investigation after receiving a complaint about Bail Bonds Direct. The Department urges any consumer considering a bail bond or other type of insurance to check the license status of the seller at our website, and contact the Department’s hotline at (800) 927-4357 if you have any concerns.
Mai and Lahmani have each posted bail of $30,000 and are scheduled to return to court on February 9, 2023. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, Long Beach Branch.
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Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at www.insurance.ca.gov via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.