Suspects in Wake bail bond scheme surrender to authorities
Posted February 25, 2014
Updated February 26, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — With her attorney at her side, Latoya Barnes was the first of four indicted for cheating Wake County schools out of more than $1.5 million in unpaid bonds to turn herself in Tuesday.
And State Bureau of Investigation agents were waiting for her.
“She has worked with law enforcement and the SBI for months,” said Jesse Scharff, Barnes’ attorney.
Barnes, along with Kelvin Ballentine, are former Wake County court clerks charged with intentionally falsifying defendants' electronic court records in 307 cases to reflect that the bondsmen had paid when they had not. The cases stretch from January 2008 to July 2013.
A bail bondsman must pay the bond of a client when they do not show up to court. The money is then used for public education, as required by the state constitution.
Bondsmen James Perkins and Kenneth Golder II are also charged in the scheme.
All four turned themselves in Tuesday evening.
Authorities were notified of the payment irregularities in August through a tip.
Nearly 150 of the 307 cases involved have been resolved. Arrest orders have been issued in other cases.