BPA Featured Article

Third Party Calling Software's Life of Intrigue and Danger

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
March 22, 2010

Third party calling software isn’t normally thought of as a particularly exciting, intriguing technology. But that’s just because nobody was using it the right way until now.

A couple weeks ago in Naples, Florida, the State Attorney’s Office dropped all criminal charges against a Naples bail bondswoman, according to NaplesNews.com,  a month after a judge granted a motion that dropped nearly all charges against Naples bail bondsman Joe Houston.

According to PINewswire, “Assistant State Attorney Dave Scuderi filed a notice of nolle pros, dismissing the case against Juanita Williams on Wednesday. Williams, 53, Houston’s business partner, was charged with allowing a convicted felon to be a bail bond agent and acting as a bail bond agent without a license, both third-degree felonies, and allowing a bond agent to solicit business in the jail, a misdemeanor. She’d faced up to five years in a state prison on each felony.”

“So?” you say. “Bully for Williams, but what does that have to do with third party calling software?”

Florida state law prohibits a bail bondsman from directly or indirectly soliciting business in or around a jail, the News reported: “Requests to post bond must be initiated by an inmate, inmate’s attorney or family.”

And Houston was accused of paying county jail inmates to solicit other inmates to use only his firms: “By monitoring and recording inmate phone calls, investigators learned that between Dec. 1, 2006, and March 23, 2007, there were 173 phone calls to Express Bail Bonds and Liberty Bail Bonds and that Houston had used at least five inmates to solicit business.”

Some were paid through – wait for it – free phone calls placed as third-party calls when the inmates called Liberty or Express.

There you go. Phone (News - Alert) technology at the heart of a criminal enterprise.

“Surveillance video from a local bank showed the person purchasing the money orders was an employee of Express Bail Bonds and Liberty Bail Bonds,” the News added:

“After a hearing Feb. 2, Collier Circuit Judge Frank Baker granted defense attorney Donald Day’s motion to dismiss one case against Houston — the majority of his charges — ruling that the state’s star witness, Patrick Rosemellia, refuted the evidence, although he’s heard on tape talking to Houston about payments.”

Maybe they can use third party calling software to nail them once and for all.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Kelly McGuire