|For Immediate Release
Case # 12CF0469
May 24, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
BAIL BOND AGENT CONVICTED OF FALSIFYING BAIL DOCUMENTS TO ILLEGALLY GET FAMILY MEMBER OUT OF JAIL AND STEALING $3,000 FROM CLIENT
SANTA ANA – A bail bond agent was convicted and sentenced today for stealing $3,000 from a client and falsifying bail bond documents to illegally get a family member out of jail. Barbara Lianne Armstrong Petersen, 46, San Bernardino pleaded guilty to the court to four felony counts of recording a false document and one felony count of grand theft. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of formal probation.
At the time of the crimes, Petersen was a bail bond agent at Barbi’s Bail Bonds.
In December 2009, Petersen entered into a contract with the parents of a female inmate to post bail for their daughter. In addition to the premium paid by the victims on the bail bond amount, Petersen asked the couple for an additional $3,000 to be used in the event that their daughter fled while out of custody on bail and a bounty hunter needed to be hired. The $3,000 was to be returned if the victim’s daughter appeared for all of her court hearings.
The victim’s daughter appeared for all of her required hearings, her criminal case was resolved, and bail was exonerated. Petersen stole and failed to return the $3,000 as promised.
In October 2010, Petersen’s cousin’s husband, Terry McCarthy, was in Orange County Jail for four separate criminal cases being held on a total of $720,000 bail. The defendant falsified four bail bond documents, one for each of McCarthy’s criminal cases, to incorrectly show that he had paid in order to get him out of jail without him actually posting any bail money. McCarthy was released from custody as a result.
In April 2011, McCarthy failed to appear for a jury trial date for one of his cases and a $1 million warrant was issued for his arrest. The insurance company responsible for paying the forfeited bail was notified. Upon review of the bail bonds by the insurance company it was determined that none of the four bond numbers were current valid bail bonds. Three of the bond numbers were previously used to bail out other inmates and one had not yet been issued by the insurance company. McCarthy was later taken back into custody. The defendant had no legal right or authority to issue these bonds without proper bond numbers and payment.
Both of these cases were reported to and investigated by the California Department of Insurance (DOI). All bail bonds agents in the State of California are required to be licensed by DOI, and the Insurance Commissioner regulates bail bond agent activity.
Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Pro