Already free on bail, York bondsman facing more charges

Liz Evans Scolforo

A local bail bondsman already criminally charged in Lancaster County has now been accused in York County of allegedly pocketing about $2,700 he should have shared with his former surety company.

Michael L. Hansen Sr. is free on $5,000 bail, charged with the felonies of theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

Michael Hansen Sr.
(Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Hansen, 50, of Emerald Avenue in West Manchester Township, is no longer on York County's official list of approved bail bondsmen, although his wife, Shirah Hansen, is on the county's approved list, as is his namesake son.

York County detectives began investigating in March and spoke with three people from We Spring Bail Bonds, the surety company that had backed Hansen's Central Booking Bail Bonds, according to charging documents.

Before that, a secretary at Central Booking Bail Bonds became suspicious after hearing Hansen threaten to jail people if he didn't receive payment from them, and she made copies of some of the company's bail files, according to charging documents. Those documents don't state what she did with the files she copied, but it appears she turned them over to county detectives.

The three representatives from We Spring Bail Bonds told detectives their surety company was supposed to receive 60 percent of each bond posted, while Hansen was supposed to receive 40 percent, documents state.

"(One of them) explained that if Hansen was collecting money over and above the agreed bond percentage, he was not reporting that to the surety company," charging documents state, adding, "Therefore he is keeping money for his personal gain."

Son provided files: On Sept. 29, Hansen's son, Michael Hansen Jr., provided detectives with a box of records from his father's business, according to charging documents. The younger Hansen previously worked for his father at Central Booking Bail Bonds.

Those records allegedly revealed the elder Hansen overcharged nine people he bailed out, according to documents.

For instance, a man bailed out Jan. 23, 2015, paid Hansen Sr. $550, but Hansen reported to We Spring that the man paid $300, meaning Hansen Sr. pocketed $250, charging documents allege.

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In another case, Hansen Sr. bailed out a man in February 2015 who paid him $3,750, according to detectives. But Hansen reported to We Spring that the man had paid him $3,000, meaning Hansen pocketed $750, documents state. He later tried to charge the man $2,550 in interest, documents allege.

"This shows a continued course of conduct by Michael L. Hansen (Sr.) for a total theft of cash in the aggregated amount of $2,750," documents state.

Hansen vs. Hansen: The elder Hansen filed a civil complaint in the office of District Judge Joel Toluba against his  son in October for $12,000, according to court records.

In Pennsylvania, magisterial district judge offices serve as small-claims courts.

On Wednesday, Toluba entered a default judgment for Hansen Sr. for the full amount of $12,000, plus about $170 in court costs, after the younger Hansen failed to officially respond to his father's civil complaint, according to his office staff.

Hansen Sr. alleged his son withdrew funds from Central Booking Bail Bonds' company accounts without authorization between Dec. 24, 2015, and July 22, according to the complaint.

Attorney George Margetas, who represents the elder Hansen in the York County theft case, said his client is innocent of the theft charges.

'There are holes': "He didn't do anything wrong," Margetas said, adding it took prosecutors months to bring charges.

"This investigation has been ongoing since 2015," he said. "It's obvious there are holes in this case for it to take this long."

Margetas maintains it's We Spring Bail Bonds that owes Hansen Sr. money — not the other way around.

"It's a civil matter," he said. "Not a crime."

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Meanwhile, the elder Hansen remains free on $250,000 bail on Lancaster County charges that include criminal trespass, false imprisonment, simple assault, theft and conspiracy.

Trial looming: His trial in that case is set for Jan. 17, according to court records.

According to Lancaster City Police, Hansen Sr. arrested city resident Lisa Brown in December 2015 and stole her dog in an effort to force her to disclose the location of her bail-skipping ex-boyfriend.

Brown had co-signed her ex-boyfriend’s bail, and she told Hansen she didn’t know where he was, documents state.

Hansen and two of his then-employees vandalized her apartment, including kicking holes in drywall, according to documents, which estimate damage to be about $800.

The bondsmen then called Lancaster City Police, telling them there were stolen goods in the apartment, documents state. Police showed up and searched the apartment, finding nothing, but noting the apartment looked as if it was in disarray, as though someone had rifled through it, according to documents.

Stolen dog: The bondsmen also stole Brown's dog and took it back to Central Booking Bail Bonds, police allege.

The bondsmen showed up at her house again, police said — this time with a 12-gauge shotgun. They pushed her to the ground, put a knee in her back, pulled her arms behind her and twisted her neck while arresting her, documents state.

As the men led her to their waiting vehicle, one of them pointed his shotgun at onlookers, police allege. They also told Brown she wouldn't get her dog back unless she disclosed the whereabouts of her ex, documents state.

There are instances in which bail bonds agents are allowed to take people into custody, according to state law. But police said the bondsmen didn't have the authority to arrest Brown.

On Dec. 14, 2015, York County detectives found the dog at Central Booking Bail Bonds, and the York County SPCA responded and took custody of the dog, police said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.