Department of Financial Services Announces Arrest of Orange Park Bail Bondsman
Contact: Ashley Carr
(850) 413 – 2842
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of an Orange Park bail bondsman after an agency investigation revealed that David Gartenbush, Jr. allegedly engaged in illegal activity by acting as a bail bondsman without an active license. In addition to being charged with unlicensed activity, charges of false imprisonment and aggravated assault have also been filed against him.
After his temporary bail bond agent license, which is like an ‘agent in training license’ expired, Gartenbush continued soliciting agents to locate and detain their skips, or individuals who have violated their bond conditions, for a portion of bond premium. While engaged in these activities, Gartenbush carried a gun and used unlawful force to gain access to the homes of individuals who had violated their bond agreement, their relatives, and employers in an effort to detain skips. After detaining subjects, he would post photographs of their capture on social media sites and caption the photographs with inappropriate commentary.
In addition to the Gartenbush arrest, two area bail bond agents, Misty Zimmerman and Cory King, were also arrested on similar charges for knowingly contracting the services of an unlicensed agent. Both King and Zimmerman hired Gartenbush to locate, detain and transfer their skips to jail. The agency’s Division of Agent & Agency Services will be suspending their professional licenses.
The State Attorney’s Office for the 4th Judicial Circuit will prosecute these cases. The three defendants were each arrested and booked into the Duval County Jail.
Anyone with information about suspected insurance fraud is asked to call 1-800-378-0445. Citizens who provide tips can remain anonymous. The Department of Financial Services to date has awarded nearly $350,000 to nearly 60 citizens as part of its Anti-Fraud Reward Program. The program rewards individuals up to $25,000 for information that directly leads to an arrest and conviction in an insurance fraud scheme.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official, oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending. Follow the activities of the department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).