SBI investigating bond discrepancies in Wake County court system
Posted February 19
Updated February 25
Raleigh, N.C. — State investigators are looking into allegations that former Wake County court employees improperly released bail bondsmen from their obligations to pay bond forfeitures.
District Attorney Colon Willoughby said Wednesday that he requested the State Bureau of Investigation's assistance in August after Clerk of Superior Court Lorrin Freeman informed him that bondsmen might have failed to pay the court hundreds of thousands of dollars.
An Aug. 9 letter from Willoughby to the SBI's Financial Crimes Unit refers to "suspicious and irregular transactions in the official electronic court records of Wake County."
"These transactions are made to appear as official court records of various transactions involving bail bond obligations of one or more sureties in certain criminal cases."
Willoughby said it's likely that an employee or employees made the changes in the court's computer system to reflect that the bondsmen did not owe money.
Bail bondsmen typically guarantee bond if defendants who have used their services to make bail don't show up for court.
Willoughby said the next step in the investigation is to take the case to a grand jury, which could happen as early as next week, for criminal indictments.