Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announces arraignment of San Bernardino Bail Agent for Grand Theft and Filing False Documents
July 24, 2012 2:52 PM
On February 28, 2012, Barbara Lianne Armstrong Petersen, 46, was arraigned in Orange County Superior Court on three felony charges for violating Penal Code Section115, Filing False Documents, and one felony charge for violating Penal Code Section 487, Grand Theft.
According to investigators, in August 2011, Petersen forged four bail bond power certificates and delivered them to the Orange County Jail in order to obtain the release of a family member being held on $720,000 bail. The family member was accused of robbery and burglary crimes. The fraudulent bonds resulted in the release of the family member who later failed to appear in court placing the public at risk. The scheme was uncovered after the family member failed to appear.
Additionally in 2009, after a mother and father met with Petersen to obtain bail for their daughter, Peterson stole $3,000 from the parents. Petersen took the money on Christmas Eve 2009, when Petersen claimed she needed $3,000 for prepaid bounty hunter services. This case was investigated by the Investigation Division, Criminal Operation Point of Sale (COPS) Unit.
Petersen's Bail Agent license has been suspended.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office prosecuted the case.
On May 24, 2012, Petersen was convicted and sentenced for falsifying bail documents to illegally get a family member out of jail and stealing client money. Petersen pleaded guilty to the court to four felony counts of recording a false document to the court and one felony count of grand theft. She was sentenced to 90-days in jail, three years of formal probation and victim restitution in the amount of $3,000.