Calif. Man Arrested While Standing in Front of Judge on Separate Charges

March 14, 2005

Sometimes people can’t seem to get enough of a good, or in this case, bad thing.

While appearing last Wednesday in a Sacramento County courtroom for a preliminary hearing, James Chester Taylor, Jr., 72, of Quartz Hill, California was arrested on three additional counts of felony grand theft in a different case. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office issued the arrest warrant as the result of an investigation conducted by the California Department of Insurance’s Investigation Division.

The more recent investigation found that Taylor, who is reportedly not licensed to transact insurance in California, collected more than $113,000 in premiums for performance and payment bonds, which were determined to be bogus. Governmental agencies require that prospective contractors provide bonds as insurance for the completion of awarded projects. The bonds can be either individual surety bonds or insurance company bonds

Taylor reportedly issued individual surety bonds to two California construction companies on separate projects using property located in Missouri as security for these bonds. This property, however, had an inflated value of $2 million. Upon completion of one of the projects, a standard, one-year lien was filed against the property by the governmental agency as security against future claims on the project.

Taylor’s Missouri property went into foreclosure and was subsequently sold at a sheriff’s auction for approximately $230,000, exposing taxpayers to great liability.

Taylor was originally arrested in California on Aug. 5, 2004, and charged with forgery, passing a forged document, and procuring or offering false or forged instrument. He is allegedly part of a scheme which used phony insurance certificates and fake contractor bonds to win bids on public works projects.

Taylor is facing similar accusations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, and Louisiana.

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