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WEST JORDAN — A bail bond company accused of taking the money customers put up as collateral and not returning it has resulted in prosecutors filing 16 criminal charges.
The investigation began in March when the Utah Insurance Fraud Division received several complaints that Rebel Bail Bonds was not reimbursing collateral money.
Bail bond companies can collect collateral for bond when the bond is considered high risk, such as when the defendant has an out-of-state address, according to court records.
"Bail bond agencies that accept collateral act in a fiduciary capacity and are required to keep the collateral separate and apart from any other funds or assets of the licensee. Bail bond agencies are required to deposit collateral into a trust account. Once a bond is exonerated by the courts, bail bond agencies have 10 days to return the collateral to the depositor after it is requested," the charges state.
Darren Brady, 52, of Duchesne, was the qualifying active officer at Rebel from 1998 to November 2017. His wife was the registered agent for Rebel and was a qualifying active officer from May 2014 until February 2017, the charges state. The company's main office is in Duchesne.
In April, a search warrant was executed at the office and more than 100 documents seized, the charges state.
"A closer examination of Rebel’s trust account from October 2015 to January 2017 revealed Rebel frequently maintained a negative balance in their trust account. In seven of the 16 months from October 2015 to January 2017, Rebel had a negative monthly ending balance in their trust account," court documents state.
On Dec. 2, 2016, Rebel Bail Bonds issued a collateral check for $20,120 to a woman. However, the company's trust account at that time had a balance of negative $1,094 and the check bounced, according to charging documents.
Rebel’s trust account had a balance of $0 at the end of February 2017.
"(Investigators) identified more than 120 individuals who collectively paid Rebel at least $246,634.50 in collateral related to bonds that were issued between December 2013 and February 2017. Subsequent investigation confirmed Rebel did not hold the collateral in trust as required by statute and confirmed Rebel’s trust account had a balance of $0 at the end of February 2017," the charges state.
Prosecutors have identified at least 11 people who claim they never received their collateral checks.
Brady was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court in West Jordan with engaging in a pattern of unlawful activity, two counts of unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary and issuing a bad check and failing to make good on a payment, second-degree felonies; six counts of unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary, a third-degree felony; five counts of unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary, a class A misdemeanor; and unlawful dealing with property by a fiduciary, a class B misdemeanor.
An initial appearance for Brady is scheduled for Dec. 1.