FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 17, 2010
FORMER BONDSMAN SENTENCED FOR CONSPIRING TO FALSIFY CITY BAIL BOND RECORDS
WICHITA, KAN. – Former bondsman Jessie Garland, 43, Wichita, Kan., has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for conspiring to change Municipal Court records so that bondsman wouldn’t have to pay bond forfeitures, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Friday. Garland also was ordered to pay $163,200 in restitution to the city of Wichita.
Garland pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to impair computerized records used in the administration of justice. Co-defendant Kaylene J. “Katie” Pottorff, 55, Wichita, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of impairing computer data. In her plea, Pottorff admitted the crimes were committed from March 2004 to April 2008 while she was working as a collections officer for the City of Wichita’s Municipal Court. Pottorff made false entries in the city’s E*Justice system, a computer system used to track and maintain information on the city’s traffic and misdemeanor criminal ordinances. The E*Justice system interfaces with the Internet to share court bonding, criminal history and driver’s license suspension information. Pottorff altered data in the system in order to cause information related to bonds to be incorrect or inaccurate, resulting in the loss of bond forfeiture revenue to the city Of Wichita.
Pottorff admitted the changes she made in court records caused defendants’ names to be removed from bond lists used by the city to collect bond forfeitures. In turn, Garland and co-defendant Alicia Bell used those lists not only to avoid paying bond forfeitures, but also to defraud surety companies and other bondsman, getting paid for finding defendants that law enforcement officers actually found or who were never found at all.
Pottorff was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $465,525 in restitution. Bell was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $185,125 in restitution.
Grissom commended the FBI, the Wichita Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Anderson for their work on the case.