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As 2014 comes to a close, PBUS would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of PBUS News Update a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Jan. 8.



Reality TV star: New Jersey bail reform is a mistake
The Star-Ledger (commentary)
From Aug. 14: As the senior vice president of the Professional Bail Agents of the U.S., our industry could be supportive of New Jersey bill, SCR128, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Chris Christie, and allows judges to deny bail to some offenders. Offenders who have committed a heinous crime should indeed be held without bail to protect the public and to fully ascertain the risk associated with the release of such offenders.
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Bail bondsmen seek answers for new fees
KOKI-TV
From Aug. 7: A tiff between the City Court administrator and a local bail bondsmen association has bail agents threatening to stop posting bonds and letting inmates stay locked up. It started with a $10 fee for all bonds posted for city inmates at the jail. Then it became a fee to use city computers for bail bondsmen to pull reports to submit to the state. Bondsmen said it’s not fair but administrators said there isn’t a problem.
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Ohio bondsman tracks fugitive drug smuggler to Florida
The Chronicle-Telegram
From April 17: John Davis, a drug smuggler who skipped his June 2013 sentencing hearing in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, was arrested in Plant City, Fla. Bondsman Tony Horn, of Lorain, Ohio-based T-Bonds, said he tracked Davis to a trailer park outside of Tampa after flying to Florida to search for the 54-year-old who was free on a $200,000 bond when he disappeared.
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You can run, but you can't hide: Meet a Long Beach bounty hunter
Long Beach Post
From July 31: Because of his 12 years as a federal police officer before getting laid off, the decision to become a bounty hunter was a seamless transition for Long Beach bounty hunter Yousuf N. Unlike police officers, however, bounty hunters don't need warrants, and this can sometimes bring them into more dangerous situations. Yousuf said that doesn't affect his job, though.
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Christie signs bail overhaul legislation
NorthJersey.com
From Aug. 14: During a public ceremony in Trenton, New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation into law that overhauls bail rules, a move supporters say makes the criminal justice system fairer to thousands of defendants while keeping the public safe.
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GPS monitoring adds safety, but also false sense of security in cases
WKRN-TV
From Nov. 13: GPS monitoring devices are used to track dangerous and high risk offenders, but the devices can be circumvented, sometimes leading to devastating consequences. When Edward Tarras Jr., accused of multiple sexual offenses against minors, found a bail bonding company to put up his $600,000 bond they attached a GPS monitor to his ankle to keep a close watch on him. Tarras was set to appear in court in August, but he cut off his GPS monitoring device and vanished.
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Inside the dangerous underground world of bounty hunters and bail bondsmen
Business Insider
From Oct. 9: Several years ago, Italian photographer Clara Vannucci was hanging out in a bar in Tribeca, New York, when she met a burly, Greek man name Bobby Zouvelos. The two struck up a conversation and Vannucci, who had recently photographed inside the notorious Riker's Island jail, explained to Zouvelos what she had seen. Zouvelos mentioned that he and his brother worked at jails too; he was a bail bondsman. Intrigued by the concept — Italy doesn't have bail bondsmen — Vannucci asked the man to introduce her to his world, a rarely discussed underworld of bail bondsmen, defendants and bounty hunters.
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Bail bondsman charged with forgery, fraud; bail set at $1 million
WFMZ-TV
From Oct. 9: Authorities in Berks County, Pennsylvania, have opened an investigation after a bail bondsman allegedly tried to pass off a counterfeit bail bond in Bucks County. Dean Gurney was arrested by Bensalem Township police. Gurney, a licensed agent with Ace Bail Bonds in downtown Reading, was charged with forgery, access device fraud/counterfeit, bad checks and securing execution of documents by deception. Authorities said Gurney's actions almost put an accused drug dealer back on the streets when he tried to pass off a counterfeit bail bond at Bucks County District Court.
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PBUS News Update
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Danielle Wegert, Assistant Executive Editor, 469.420.2696   
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