|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF0730
May 20, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
BAIL BOND AGENT CHARGED IN 8-CO-DEFENDANT SCHEME TO ILLEGALLY SOLICIT INMATE CLIENTS FROM ORANGE COUNTY JAIL
SANTA ANA – A bail bond agent was charged today in an 8-co-defendant scheme to illegally solicit inmates as bail clients from Orange County Jail. Cynthia Cheryl Shirey, 42, is charged with nine felony counts of violating bail license regulations by permitting an unlicensed person to solicit and negotiate bail bonds on her behalf, seven felony counts of violating bail license regulations by using a fictitious name to conduct bail bonds business, 10 felony counts of violating bail license regulations by failing to keep complete records of all business done under the authority of her license, and five felony counts of violating bail license regulations by transmitting to another person a fictitious communication authorizing the solicitation or negotiation of bail.
If convicted on all counts, Shirey faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in state prison. She is expected to post $20,000 bail this afternoon. Shirey was arraigned today and is scheduled for a pretrial hearing Aug. 5, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
“These consumer laws that regulate bail referrals protect the consumer and the public from unscrupulous secret dealings. These laws protect bail clients who are in some of the most vulnerable times of their lives, as well as legitimate, licensed bail agents who are following the law,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I wanted to commend Sheriff Hutchens for working with our Special Prosecutions Unit to keep integrity in her jails and enforcing the law.”
“These arrests are the result of an 18-month long investigation by Sheriff’s investigators working closely with our Department’s jail staff,” said Sheriff Sandra Hutchens. “The illegal soliciting of inmates by unscrupulous bail bond agents will not be tolerated in our facilities.”
“Bail agents who misuse and abuse their license to provide bond services will face the possibility of losing their license,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “Let this case stand as a warning to those who would contemplate allowing any unlicensed person to unlawfully negotiate bail bonds on their behalf.”
Ernesto Perez, 36, Burbank, is charged with 49 felony counts of negotiating bail without a license and 56 felony counts of identity theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 72 years and four months in state prison. Perez is out of custody on $150,000 bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug. 5, 2011, in Department C-57.
Richard Anthony Arant, 28, Silverado Canyon, is charged with five felony counts of soliciting bail without a license and two felony counts of violation of bail license regulations. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. A $20,000 warrant has been issued for his arrest. At the time of the crime, Arant was in custody for misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol and driving on a suspended license (Case #11CM01467).