A Berks County bail bondsman and three employees were charged Friday with writing $2 million in fraudulent bonds.
Authorities said that the Ace Bail Bonds were not insured and that the company used the same bond to post bail in as many as 23 cases.
The defendants include store owner Vincent J. Smith and his daughter, Kaley Smith.
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District Attorney John Adams described the activity as "rampant" and said counterfeit bonds had been posted in about 20 Pennsylvania counties.
Detainees seeking to post bail were not involved in the alleged scheme, Adams said.
The four defendants, including Adalberto Garcia Jr. and Dean Gurney, were in custody Friday afternoon. They didn't have lawyers listed in court filings.
The case broke open in October, when Gurney allegedly posted a counterfeit $500,000 bond for a suspected drug dealer. Detectives soon found that at least 83 phony bonds — without a watermark feature — were used to post bail for criminal defendants from August through September, authorities said.
"We know there are many more out there," Adams said in a news conference Friday.
Investigators also believe that Smith's bail license is fraudulent, the prosecutor said.