May 28, 2011 8:34 PM by Matt Stafford
El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa announced Friday the arrest a 24-year-old man at the center of a two month, multi-state bail bond scam; in the process he called out a local bail bondsman and a media outlet for what Maketa says was impeding on the investigation.
In a 3:30 p.m. Friday press release, the Sheriff's office says in March an agent from Bobby Brown's Bond Agency released personal information on the co-signer of a bond from his agency to a suspect. They say the suspect then called the co-signer, demanding money for extra court costs. They told them if they didn't pay, the person they had bonded out of jail would be arrested again. The co-signer paid the $1,400, then found out in court two days later when there were no new costs that they were the victim of a scam.
Brown says it's wrong for the Sheriff to tell people that one of his employees gave out information leading to one of the scams. Brown says that didn't happen, he's investigated, and Sheriff's deputies even came to his office to question employees and told him there was no reason to believe the information came from them.
"They were totally satisfied that this person (Brown's employee) had nothing to do with it," says Brown.
Maketa says he believes the employee of Brown's was scammed into giving the information. Maketa showed NF5 phone records of the suspect's; on March 26th, the suspect called Bobby Brown's Bond Agency, then the victim for the first time, then Bobby Brown's again, then the victim again. Maketa says that's likely when the suspect got the information used to scam the victim. He says it was the first time the victim had been contacted by the suspect.
"Never did he (the suspect) call the criminal justice center, but he did speak to Bobby Brown's staff," says Sheriff Maketa.
The suspect, Michael Stephen Moynihan, was found and arrested this month in Sacramento, California; on the third arrest attempt, after two misses by California law enforcement. Moynihan is being held on a no-bond parole hold.
The investigation has shown there have been other, similar scams around the country, 600 cases and around 1,000 victims. Maketa's office says charges could be filed against Moynihan by the United States Attorney's Office in California next week.
Maketa says he was forced to mention Brown in the press release because back in March Brown claimed there was a lapse at the Criminal Justice Center and that's were Moynihan got the information used to scam Brown's client. Maketa says that's not possible because they don't keep information on an inmate's bond co-signer. He says he's looked into problems coming from the CJC and can say that there aren't any in relation to this case.
"Exactly what my press release did is point out that his allegation was false and we have the facts to back it up," says Sheriff Maketa.
"Since he brought it up I really I am going to push, I want to see where this investigation is, where the investigation of my employee is at, and any investigation of his employees," says Brown. He still believes the CJC is where the information used against his client came from.
Brown says he has spoken to attorneys and is considering legal action against the county. Sheriff Maketa says that is Brown's right, but he's not sure what his grounds are to sue.