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Miami Bail Bondsman Banned from the Industry after Pleading Guilty to Diversion of Premiums

11/7/2003

CONTACT: Nina Banister
(850) 413-2842

MIAMI - A Miami bail bondsman has been banned from the industry after pleading guilty to charges that he diverted more than $30,000 in bond premiums.

Alan Staple, owner of The Staple Group, Inc., now-defunct, dba Alan's Bail Bonds, pleaded guilty this week to multiple counts of grand theft, organized fraud, and failure to return bail bond collateral. Miami Dade County Circuit Judge Mary Barzee withheld adjudication, sentencing Staple to two years probation and ordering him to surrender his license to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

He also was ordered to pay restitution and investigative costs of the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. In accordance with the judge's order, the Division of Agents and Agencies Services and Division of Legal Services issued a consent order today that revokes Staples' license and permanently bars him from engaging in the bail bond business in this state.

Investigators stated that from October through December 2001, Staple subcontracted to another bond agency, Alpha Bail Bonds. Staple collected $30,814 in bond premiums from approximately 70 clients, which he failed to turn over to either the other agency or the insurance company.

Staple additionally failed or delayed the return of $9,600 in collateral to clients after the courts released the funds.

Miami Dade Assistant State Attorney Marshall Lewis prosecuted the case.

The Department of Financial Services investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or another possible fraud scheme should call the department's Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to a conviction.