Bail bondsman charged in business referral scheme

Published: July 1, 2010 Updated:  12:45 p.m.

Story Highlights: He is accused of improperly distributing flyers to the jail with the name of his company and the message ‘Get out of jail today by calling now!’

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SANTA ANA – A bail bond agent was arrested Thursday and accused of soliciting attorney referrals and inmate business in an illegal bail bond referral scheme.

Ronald Lee Brockway, 50, of Seal Beach, is charged with two felony counts of violating bail license regulations and faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison

He is being held on $50,000 bail pending his arraignment.

California law prohibits bail bond employees from soliciting bail business from any inmate or incarcerated person, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The law also prohibits bail bond employees from recommending any attorney to any bail bond client, even if no money changes hands.

Brockway is accused of sending numerous e-mails to attorneys soliciting them to participate in an illegal bail bond scheme with his company, Respect Bail Bond, according to the news release.

In his messages, Brockway is accused of suggesting that the attorneys refer bail bond business to him, while offering to refer clients to the attorneys in order to “increase both of our earnings substantially,” prosecutors said.

Brockway is also accused of unlawfully soliciting business from inmates by mass mailing flyers to the Orange County jail containing the name and contact information for Respect Bail Bond. The flyers read, “Get out of jail today by calling now!”

In October 2005, Brockway testified in an Orange County Grand Jury hearing that he had received cash payments from attorney Joseph Cavallo in exchange for referring arrestees to Cavallo’s law practice.

Brockway was not prosecuted in that case because his testimony was needed in the prosecution of other defendants, prosecutors said.

Cavallo was indicted based partly on Brockway’s testimony. Cavallo pleaded guilty on Oct. 12, 2007, to conspiracy to engage in attorney capping, or paying for clients, and an illegal attorney referral scheme. He was sentenced to six months in jail on Dec. 14, 2007.

The District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation began investigating the current case after a private attorney contacted the OCDA to report receiving the e-mail from Brockway regarding the illegal referral scheme.

Contact the writer: or 714-834-3784