Justice Department:

Problems in Collecting Forfeited Corporate Surety Bail Bonds

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

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Arnold P. Jones
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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


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