Justice Department:

Problems in Collecting Forfeited Corporate Surety Bail Bonds

GGD-87-114BR: Published: Sep 22, 1987. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1987.

Additional Materials:


Arnold P. Jones
(202) 512-7797


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Justice's collection of forfeited corporate surety bail bonds in four districts to determine the: (1) number of defendants released on bond prior to trial; (2) number of defendants who failed to appear in court; (3) dollar amount of forfeited bonds; and (4) reasons why the funds remained uncollected.

GAO found that: (1) of the 1,386 cases reviewed, 91 defendants were released on corporate surety bail bonds; (2) 21 defendants failed to appear in court; (3) two of the four districts had bail bonds totalling $442,000; (4) although one of the districts collected 100 percent of the funds owed, the other district collected only 9.7 percent of the funds, leaving $342,500 in uncollected funds; and (5) most of the funds remained uncollected because U.S. attorneys failed to initiate collection actions because of heavy case loads.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Justice identified other U.S. Attorney offices that were experiencing problems in collecting forfeited bail bonds and developed procedures to ensure the prompt collection of forfeited bonds.

    Recommendation: The Attorney General should require the Executive Office for United States Attorneys to determine if other districts are experiencing problems in collecting forfeited surety bail bonds.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 26, 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 10, 2020

Sep 8, 2020

Aug 13, 2020

Jul 29, 2020

Jul 8, 2020

Jun 22, 2020

May 26, 2020

May 12, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here