Wake schools seeks more than $1M lost in alleged bail bond scheme
Posted April 1, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — The Wake County Public School System is taking legal action to recoup more than $1 million it lost in money paid to the courts when criminal defendants skip bond.
Stella Shelton, interim communications officer for the school system, said Tuesday that attorneys have filed 316 motions in Wake County Superior and District courts to get back $1,012,600 from 13 insurance agencies and four individual serving as professional sureties.
The motions involve cases where two former Wake County court clerks allegedly changed computer records between January 2008 and July 2013 to falsely reflect payment of criminal bond forfeitures by bail bondsmen.
A bail bondsman's job is to guarantee to pay the court system if their clients don't show up for court. That money, under North Carolina's constitution, is used to maintain public schools.
The school system wants the amounts of the bonds and interest. It also wants the court to impose a monetary sanction against the bail agents and the sureties for the alleged actions.
Last month, a Wake County grand jury indicted the former clerks – Kelvin Lawrence Ballentine, 36, and Latoya Tanisha Barnes, 41 – as well as two bail bondsmen – James L. Perkins, 41, and Kenneth Vernon Golder II, 42 – on three felony charges.