Local News

Wake schools seeks more than $1M lost in alleged bail bond scheme

Posted April 1, 2014

From left: Kelvin Lawrence Ballentine, Latoya Tanisha Barnes, 
Kenneth Vernon Golder II and James Lee Perkins

— 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.

29 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • i4musicalarts Apr 2, 2014

    [quote=13533170]Post by RDcallsit[/quote Uh, no. I hate to blow up the fairy tale, but there's no nefarious co-conspirator in the school budget office who was trying to cover up the missing million. Various fines and forfeitures do help support the budget in the school systems where they are collected, but it's not a pre-determined amount of money....varies widely from year-to-year based on what's collected.

  • RDcallsit Apr 2, 2014

    View quoted thread

    this is what I was saying in my earlier post. there were people in the school district's finance system who knew something... I don't know who or what they knew, but you don't overlook a million dollars....

  • RDcallsit Apr 2, 2014

    they don't have any money. if you want to reinforce judgment, hold those accountable who let this happen. there were people on the NC payroll who knew what was going on. don't think they didn't.

  • areyououtofyourmind Apr 2, 2014

    "To think these schools look like they do and the teachers not getting paid like they should."

    It really helps if: (1) you read the article and (2) if reporters stopped trying to sensationalize every header.

    The money was NEVER STOLEN FROM THE SCHOOLS! Think about it. When have you ever heard of schools in business with bail bondsmen? Come to think about it, that may not be a bad business nowadays.

  • ThatsRite Apr 2, 2014

    All of them should be sent to prison for the rest of their lives. Those funds were not theirs to have. To think these schools look like they do and the teachers not getting paid like they should. This is terrible.

  • redwolfone Apr 2, 2014

    They will never get the money....

  • lec02572 Apr 1, 2014

    Wake County hasn't even recovered the money lost to these people, so how can the school system get the money. I guess they just want the money up front counting on the County getting the money.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Apr 1, 2014

    View quoted thread

    -

    Good point! There may never have been any ACTUAL cash gained.

  • Pensive01 Apr 1, 2014

    View quoted thread


    Actually "get back" is somewhat appropriate, as what these people are accused of is making fraudulent computer entries that showed that the money had been paid to the school system, when in reality the money had never been paid at all. It's really no different from someone trying to get money from someone who knowingly writes a bad check.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Apr 1, 2014

    Still confused.
    The last sentence says, "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."
    BUT - that's if their client doesn't show up; this was bail bond that was never given to the court system in the first place, before the defendant was ever required to appear in a courtroom, and that money doesn't go to schools; it stays with the court system. Doesn't it?

More...