Saturday, November 8, 2014
Bail bondsman charged in 2nd fake bond incident in Warwick
Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2014
A Berks County man is accused of passing a second phony bail bond that released a Warrington theft suspect in September — the third counterfeit bail bond incident connected to a Reading-based business.
Dean Gurney, 47, of Fleetwood, is accused of passing the counterfeit bail bond on Sept. 8 at the Warwick court of District Judge Jean Seaman, according to an affidavit of probable cause. Warwick police launched an investigation that confirmed the bond was phony after court staff uncovered the alleged deception last month.
Court staff received a notice from Bucks County Deputy Court Administrator Robert Pollack that two bail bondsmen from Ace Bail Bonds in Reading tried to use invalid bail surety bonds at local district courts. Staff checked the bail bonds they received and found one that Gurney had issued. A surety bond is essentially an insurance policy that assures a criminal defendant will appear in court as directed by a judge. If the defendant fails to appear, the county would then seek to collect on the entire bail amount from the insurance company.
The bond that Gurney posted at Seaman’s court released an unidentified defendant arrested by Warrington police on charges that include 24 counts of forgery, access device fraud, theft and receiving stolen property, according to the affidavit. The unidentified defendant had been incarcerated in lieu of 10 percent of $75,000 bail, court documents said.
For the Warwick case, Gurney was arraigned Thursday before Judge Seaman on charges of tampering with records, counterfeiting, bad checks and secure execution of document by deception. His bail was set at 10 percent of $25,000, but Gurney remains incarcerated in Bucks County prison in lieu of 10 percent of $250,000 bail for an earlier case in Bensalem.
Gurney was arrested Oct. 3 after attempting to pass a phony $500,000 bail bond for an incarcerated suspected drug dealer at District Judge Joseph Falcone’s court in Bensalem. He is charged with forgery, securing execution of documents by deception and related offenses in that matter.
Following Gurney’s arrest, the Berks County District Attorney’s office launched a probe into the company he worked for, Ace Bail Bonds. The Bucks County District Attorney also started looking into suspects freed with surety bonds obtained through Ace Bail Bonds.
The Intelligencer was unsuccessful in reaching attorney Jay Nigrini, who represents Ace Bail Bonds, for comment Thursday.
So far only three incidents have been uncovered and two are linked to Gurney, said Pollack, the deputy court administrator. He added the county criminal clerk’s office is also investigating if any bail bonds passed there are linked to Gurney or the Reading business.
A second Ace Bail Bonds employee allegedly and successfully posted a phony $500,000 bond in Falcone’s court a week before Gurney’s attempt. In that earlier incident, a Florida man suspected of drug dealing was freed. An arrest warrant has been issued for that defendant, Harold Boigues Soto, 35, of Tampa, who failed to appear at his preliminary hearing last month after he was released.