SHERMAN OAKS—A Sherman Oaks couple and former Los Angeles Police Department civilian employee were charged for their involvement in a bail bond scheme.
The owners of the Sherman Oaks bail bond company, BBB Bail Bonds Co., William Aroutounian, 34, and Iryna McCormick, 33, allegedly collaborated in a bail bond kickback scheme with Leonard Jimmy Ramirez, 44, an employee of the Valley Jail Division who serves as a detention officer at the Van Nuys jail.
Ramirez allegedly provided the couple with emergency contact information for the family and friends of recent arrestees in exchange for kickbacks, according to prosecutors.
Upon receiving the contact information, Aroutounian and McCormick would call the number and say that the inmate had requested they call, so that they could secure a bail bond and get them out of jail, according to a press release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Ramirez would subsequently meet Aroutounian in neighborhood alleyways where Aroutounian would then allegedly hand Ramirez money or drop it off in his car. It is illegal to proactively solicit inmates and their families, according to prosecutors – this scheme is called bail capping.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Professional Standards Bureau launched an investigation when an undercover police officer posing as a felony domestic abuse suspect listed another undercover officer as his emergency contact and Ramirez gave away the information, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The criminal complaint alleges that the group was bail capping between September 2013 and November 2014.
The three have been charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit bail solicitation, along with bail solicitation. Ramirez was additionally charged with one felony count of accepting a bribe.
Aroutounian and McCormick are scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, May 23 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse and could face up to three years in state prison if convicted.
Ramirez has since been released on bond and is scheduled to be arraigned June 3 at the downtown LA courthouse – he faces up to four years and eight months in state prison if found guilty.