FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Fotis Dulos attempted suicide minutes before a bond hearing where prosecutors planned to ask a judge to revoke his bond. Now, a competing bail bondswoman is saying she alerted Connecticut regulators to potential problems with the company who put up his collateral, sparking an investigation which may have led to the state’s move to revoke Dulos’ bond.
One week after Dulos bonded out of state custody, veteran bailbondswoman Mary Anne Casey raised what she called a red flag with the Connecticut Department of Insurance.
She questioned whether Palmetto Surety had the legal ability to execute the $6 million sum. Just a little over a week after Casey voiced her concerns, Palmetto Insurance sought to back out of insuring the bond.
Connecticut regulators along with an internal investigation done by the company found two of the homes Dulos put up as collateral were in foreclosure and raised the company’s risk above the legal limit.
Dulos was found unresponsive before an emergency bond hearing that could have seen him put back behind bars.
“That company should have had title searches done on the property, liens placed on the property,” said Casey. “All of this should have been done prior to the execution of the bond. This should not have taken place like this.”
Whistleblower Casey is not the only one who says Dulos’ bond issues raise concerns over how the state handles the pretrial release of alleged wrongdoers.
Alex Tsarkov with the Connecticut Sentencing Commission — an independent body that studies pretrial release — said the Dulos case highlights inequity between how rich and poor inmates are treated. The majority of the poor are racial minorities who are held for lesser crimes on bonds they cannot pay.
“Defendants who have the means to purchase their way to freedom are able to do so while defendants who don’t have money may be stuck in jail,” said Tsarkov.
In a statement, the Insurance Department said: “The Department received a complaint concerning the bond that was issued and began an investigation in accordance with our laws and regulations. As part of the investigation we contacted the regulator responsible for the insurance company.”
A representative for Palmetto Surety said it was cooperating with the state after authorities notified the company that there would be an emergency bond hearing last week.
According to the representative, the Insurance Department informed Palmetto on Monday that it is no longer investigating the issue and that the matter is “closed.”