Page images

Senator DANIEL. He was to appear in court on October 21, 1954? Mr. NEWMAN. Well, sometime around there; yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. That is when your bond was returnable?

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir; that is right.

Senator DANIEL. And he did not appear?

Mr. NEWMAN. That is right.

Senator DANIEL. Have you ever heard from him since?
Mr. NEWMAN. No, sir.

Senator DANIEL. And you do not know where Bellanca is now?
Mr. NEWMAN. No, sir; I wish I did.

Senator DANIEL. Did your company pay the bond to the Government?

Mr. NEWMAN. They paid $20,000; yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. Did you lose anything personally on it?
Mr. NEWMAN. I lost the $20,000.

Senator DANIEL. How does that happen? You are agents working on some kind of an arrangement by which you take a personal loss?

Mr. NEWMAN. Every agent is personally responsible for every bond that he writes. When we first go into the bail-bond business we have to deposit with the company a certain sum of money that indemnifies these bonds that we are writing.

When we write a bond, we are limited according to the amount of capital that we have on reserve with the company as to the size of the bond that we can write.

Of course, where a big bond is involved, we have to try to get as much collateral as we possibly can, and, of course, the company has to approve that bond, and if it becomes very big, even the local office in New York does not have full authority.

It then gets back to Philadelphia, and they have to approve it. But we ultimately are personally responsible, and here is the way this thing works.

For every $500 bond that we write for the company at the time that we write it we pay the company $10 for the 500 bond, and $2.50 a reserve premium, which goes on indefinitely, even though that bond is finished, and they retain that $2.50; and, of course, you do a lot of business and your reserve gets bigger and bigger, and the only time you can get this money is when you, the day comes that you get out of business, and everything is liquidated.

But you just keep on building your reserve fund, and your reserve fund, when this loss took place, the New York agent wrote a letter to the Philadelphia office to give me $20,000-$20,000 out of my reserve fund which, of course, they have to do, whether they like it or not, because it is their obligation; it is not my obligation to the Government, because they are the ones that are responsible to the Government.

But by taking $20,000 out of the reserve fund, that depleted my reserve fund so badly that at the time I may have been stopped from writing bonds, certainly not being able to write any bigger bonds.

So I committed myself to my company that I would return to them $500 a month until I paid back the $20,000, which is my own money. Well, I have paid them about $9,500 and only about 6 or 7 weeks ago I asked them to give me a break and let me go until December because I have got to accumulate some money now so that I will have to pay taxes and various other things.

So I said I have given them back about $4,500 or $5,000 toward my own money that they took out and, of course, next year I have to start paying it again.

Senator DANIEL. Well, did you say that you took a chance on having your license revoked for writing a bail bond without taking, without getting collateral?

Mr. NEWMAN. Well, I couldn't exactly-I don't mean license revoked. No; my company could stop me from writing, saying that I was getting too reckless.

Senator DANIEL. Because they have a rule that requires that you get collateral put up before you deliver, sign and deliver a bond?

Mr. NEWMAN. No, not necessarily. I mean, it all depends who the agent is. I have been with them for 15 years, and may be a little more than that, and I enjoy a pretty good reputation. I mean, I have been with another company and, thank God, it is one thing that nobody can say, I have ever welched.

I had a loss a few years ago, and the company knows that, and it is a matter of record. At the time I had the loss I hocked my very soul to pay that. I have hocked my life-insurance policies, my car, jewelry that was laying in the house, everything that I owned. I took a personal loan on my car, and everything, and I paid it off; because of that reputation they give me a better break than the average. Senator DANIEL. Was that in Brooklyn?

Mr. NEWMAN. Sir?

Senator DANIEL. Was that in Brooklyn?
Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. How much was that loss?

Mr. NEWMAN. I had the Gross bond, if you will recall, Harry Gross, $25,000 bond.

There is a man went away, he went to Atlantic City for 9 hours; he was not even a defendant. He was only a material witness. He was not due in court, but because he got away from the cops overnight, they punished me.

I had no responsibility. The cops were the ones that were responsible for letting him get away, and I had to pay $25,000, and it cost me about $7,000 litigation in trying to fight this thing.

I went all the way up to the Appellate Division. The Appellate Division ruled against me.

Senator DANIEL. Didn't Gross put up collateral?

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, but I didn't get enough out of it. All I got out of Gross' collateral was $11,000. The principal of the bond was $25,000. I was assessed $4,000 in interest because I did not pay the money immediately at the time of the forfeiture.

I was always hopeful that I would win it in the court, you see, and I was paying 6 percent interest, so actually I lost $19,000 on that, and then I had some other very big loss at one time in the Federal court right here in New York.

Senator DANIEL. What type of case was that?

Mr. NEWMAN. Express money orders.

Senator DANIEL. And how much bond was involved?

Mr. NEWMAN. $50,000, and a $60,000 bond.

Senator DANIEL. Did you fail to get up enough collateral in those cases?

Mr. NEWMAN. No. I had, in the $50,000 bond I had full collateral, 100 percent collateral; and, in fact-but unfortunately there is a lawyer involved in this case who hasn't let me rest. I won this case all the way up to the court of appeals unanimously, they ruled. He tried to upset the judgment by claiming that this woman didn't know what she was signing, and all that.

Senator DANIEL. Let us go to the other case. In the other instance did you have insufficient collateral? You said there was one involved $50,000 and one involving $60,000.

Mr. NEWMAN. $60,000; that is right.

Senator DANIEL. In the $60,000, did you fail to have enough collateral?

Mr. NEWMAN. No, I didn't have full collateral. I had quite a bit of collateral, and we are still liquidating that. So far I got about $17,000 or $18,000 out of it. I had about 8 or 9 deeds from various members of the family; but we still haven't liquidated that.

Senator DANIEL. Was this Bellanca bond the first bond that you signed and delivered without getting collateral put up first? Mr. NEWMAN. I wouldn't say that.

Senator DANIEL. It was not the first time?


Senator DANIEL. Well, hadn't you been in other instances assured by certain underworld characters that they would see to it that the collateral was put up or that you would be taken care of if you went on and signed the bond before collateral was put up?

Mr. NEWMAN. There is no such thing. In every bond we have to have the collateral, and we have to justify that, and we are the only ones that has to make that good.

Senator DANIEL. Well now, Mr. Newman, when you went to talk to the Bureau of Narcotics agents

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. You talked to Mr. Amato, Mr. O'Connor and Mr. O'Carroul?

Mr. NEWMAN. I don't remember their names.

Senator DANIEL. Would you remember them? Are Mr. O'Carroul and Mr. O'Connor here?

(Two gentlement arose in the audience.)

Senator DANIEL. Are those the two gentlemen you talked with? Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. Didn't you tell them that you had often written bonds without the required collateral upon receiving assurances from one underworld figure or another that you had nothing to worry about if you went on and posted the bond?

Mr. NEWMAN. That is not true.

Senator DANIEL. You did not tell them-did you tell them that? Mr. NEWMAN. No, sir. I may have-they asked me that, and I think I may have said to them that very often that I will write a bond in certain-say for argument's sake, I may know somebody myself.

After all, I have been around this business for some time, and you run into people. You meet different people through other people. It doesn't necessarily there is no such thing-you can't write any bond like that. I never had anything like that.

Senator DANIEL. My only question is this, and I just want to remind you that I would not ask it, if these

Mr. NEWMAN. Well, they may have misunderstood me.
Senator DANIEL. I want to put the question to you again.

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. With this word of caution, that that is the question we are interested in

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. Because we are interested in knowing if you had any assurances from anyone in the underworld on Bellanca's bond. Mr. NEWMAN. Definitely not.

Senator DANIEL. All right. I want to ask you this question.
Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. Did you state to Mr. O'Connor and Mr. O'Carroul that you had often written bonds without the required collateral, upon receiving assurances from one underworld figure or another that you had nothing to worry about if you posted the bond?

Mr. NEWMAN. I never said that and I never used that term of expression.

Senator DANIEL. Well, did you use anything, any words, to convey such an idea to these two men?

Mr. NEWMAN. No, sir. I may have said to them that I have written some bonds for some people some time-I may know somebody where a bond, say, $5,000, $7,500, and someone that I may have bailed out at some prior date, and I had faith in him on their assurance, I would bail someone else out. But even if I wanted to do anything like that, my company would restrict me. I couldn't write it. I am just a small cog there.

Senator DANIEL. Did you go on and add but that in this case you did not get an assurance, or Ö. K.?

Mr. NEWMAN. Oh, yes; I told them that. I said that I never met this man, I knew nobody; this thing came to me cold.

Senator DANIEL. You told them you were in the hole?

Mr. NEWMAN. Absolutely.

Senator DANIEL. And needed their help?

Mr. NEWMAN. Absolutely.

Senator DANIEL. That you had failed to get collateral?
Mr. NEWMAN. I said to them-

Senator DANIEL. And you failed to get any assurance from their friends

Mr. NEWMAN. That is right.

any of

Senator DANIEL. That they would see to it that he was here. Mr. NEWMAN. I had been getting visitors. They wanted to knowin fact, only recently I had an FBI man come to me, and he also insinuated the same thing, that I had had an O.K., and I said there is no such thing as an O.K. I don't know what he is talking about.

I write a bond, and I tell you again, Senator, if I know someone, and my experience with them had been a hundred percent, that fellow can come in and say, "Al, the fellow is all right, go ahead; don't worry about it," I will write that bond. It does not necessarily mean he is an underworld character.

The man may have been arrested or had some experience-we do that very often for lawyers, too.

A lawyer will walk in and say, "You have my assurance, too." That does not mean he is going to pay the obligation. I mean, we do it

every single day because otherwise we could not do any business here; I mean, competition is very, very keen.

Senator DANIEL. Has it been your experience that on a lot of these bigtime narcotics violators that they are pretty bad risks, and that they will jump the bond like Bellanca did?

Mr. NEWMAN. Senator, whether it is a user or a seller, this is the only forfeiture I have ever had in any narcotic bond that I have ever written.

Senator DANIEL. This is the only one?

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. You are positive of that?

Mr. NEWMAN. Absolutely.

Senator DANIEL. Haven't you heard about some forfeitures in other narcotic bonds?

Mr. NEWMAN. I really-I don't think so. Listen, we get a lot of technical forfeitures.

Senator DANIEL. No I am not talking about that. I am talking in this very gang of racketeers that Bellanca is in

Mr. NEWMAN. Yes, sir.

Senator DANIEL. According to the records this committee has, there are at least four different men who have skipped high bonds. I think most of them were over $20,000.


Senator DANIEL. They just make a big high bond and off they go. Mr. NEWMAN. No.

Senator DANIEL. We caught one of them at San Antonio, Tex., when he got off the plane, and he was arrested. He had skipped a big bond in Canada, and he is also wanted here in New York.

Mr. NEWMAN. A New York case?

Senator DANIEL. Yes.

Mr. NEWMAN. In fact, when this happened

Senator DANIEL. It is D'Agostino, is his last name. Michel Cisco; did you ever hear of him?

Mr. NEWMAN. It may be possible this, Senator, he may have been bailed out by property or by cash.

We only interest ourselves when a company has a person out on bond, otherwise we don't even pay any attention to that, because what happens is this: If I am in a courtroom and someone don't show up, they will announce, "Manufacturers Casualty produce forth so-and


Well, immediately, within 2 minutes, like bees swarming around, the story is out that Manufacturers has a forfeiture, and naturally you get to know that.

But if they hollered and called out an individual who had a loss there, we wouldn't know anything about it.

In fact, when this forfeiture took place, Senator, I am pretty sure the company knows about this-my company stopped writing narcotics bonds entirely.

Senator DANIEL. Have you quit now?

Mr. NEWMAN. Now, wait just a moment. They stopped writing bonds for at least a month. Then they said they won't write any of these bonds unless there was 50 percent cash put up. But then there were other companies, and the other companies started writing bonds,

« PreviousContinue »