Second trial ahead for York bail agent accused of theft
York-based bail agent Michael Hansen Sr. is now facing trial in a second central Pennsylvania criminal case, this one in York County, for allegedly stealing about $2,700 from his former surety company.
Hansen, 50, of Emerald Avenue in West Manchester Township, remains free on $5,000 bail in York County, charged with the felonies of theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.
He was in Lancaster County Court on Friday for a scheduled guilty-plea hearing on his case there, in which he's accused of illegally arresting a woman, stealing her dog and damaging her home. But the guilty plea didn't happen, and the case was listed for trial, according to Brett Hambright, spokesman for the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.
Hansen later wrote on Facebook that, "Due to negative press ... the saga continues," and called the reporting of police allegations against him "lies." The York Dispatch last week published an article reporting on the scheduled guilty-plea hearing and quoting the alleged victim in the case.
Hansen 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, meaning both have surety companies backing them.
The York case: York County detectives began investigating Hansen in March and spoke with three people from We Spring Bail Bonds, the surety company that had backed Hansen's former Central Booking Bail Bonds, according to charging documents.
Prior to that, a secretary at Central Booking Bail Bonds became suspicious after allegedly 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, documents state.
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.
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.
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 Toluba's office staff.
Hansen Sr. had 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.
Defense attorney Royce Morris represented the elder Hansen on Tuesday morning when the bail agent appeared before District Judge Linda Williams and waived his preliminary hearing. Morris declined comment about the case.
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 ahead: His trial in that case is now set for Feb. 13, according to court records.
According to Lancaster City Police, Hansen Sr. and a crew of his bail agents 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 crew 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 men also stole Brown's dog, a cane corso named Boss, and took it back to Central Booking Bail Bonds, police said.
Hansen and his crew showed up at her house again, police said — this time with a 12-gauge shotgun. They pushed the grandmother 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, the elder Hansen pointed his shotgun at onlookers, police allege. Hansen also told Brown and her attorney that Brown wouldn't get her dog back unless she disclosed the whereabouts of her ex, court documents allege.
After about a week, York County detectives found Boss at Central Booking Bail Bonds, and the York County SPCA responded and took custody of him, police said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.