A Main Street bail bond company has filed a federal lawsuit against the city’s police department over an employee inside the department referring prisoners’ families to competitors, according to a lawsuit filed in April.
Apple Bail Bonds states in its lawsuit that Emilio Lozada, a city police aide, was sending prisoners’ families to All Out Bail Bonds, a bail bond company on Broadway owned by Mohammad Mahmoud, a former city cop. “Mr. Lozada was—and still is—illegally diverting bails from the Paterson Police holding cells,” reads the suit.
The suit explains that Lozada, who works in booking, has access to incoming prisoners’ personal information, which he utilizes to persuade them to use Mahmoud’s company. “He typically operates his scheme by communicating directly with the prisoners and strongly persuading them to utilize the services of “All Out Bail Bonds,” reads the suit.
The suit alleges that Lozada also uses the information at his disposal to contact family members of the prisoners to inform them that “their relative is incarcerated and that they should use “All Out Bail Bonds” in order to get their relative released.”
In 2010, the company raised the issue with the city’s police misconduct unit, Internal Affairs Division. Richard Botbyl, a detective, investigated the matter and found “the civilian violated departmental rules and regulations,” according to a letter that was sent to the company.
Botbyl stated that “appropriate discipline under our agency’s procedures” will be issued against Lozada.
In 2012, two years after Botbyl’s ostensible disciplinary measures, the employee continued to refer prisoners to the Broadway company. In one incident cited in the suit, a mother was contacted after her son had been incarcerated by a representative of Mahmoud’s company.
When the prisoner came out, he informed his mother that Lozada had obtained his mother’s information, whilst he was in jail. The story confirms that little was done by police to address the issue.
“This inequity is the direct result of scandalous and utterly illegal activity taking place within the Paterson Police Department—activity that the Department has acknowledged and supposedly took steps to prevent,” reads the suit.
After the Main Street company noticed little was done to address the issue, they sent letter to William Fraher, police chief, and followed up with Botbyl. The company wrote to Fraher asking for the termination of the employee for repeatedly engaging in alleged illegal activity.
The Main Street company’s lawyer sent a letter to Botbyl complaining the same activities he had disciplined the aide over was still taking place. Botbyl furnished the same statement twice, and then no response when the company sent a third letter.
The suit alleges that Lozada was not doing this for nothing he is likely receiving money in return for referral service. “It is also hard—in fact, impossible—to imagine that this person is not being paid a kickback for his services in directing bails,” reads the suit.
“Despite ample warnings and multiple pleas for help, the wrongdoing continues to this day,” reads the suit. “This wrongdoing has caused a great deal of financial distress” to Apple Bail Bond.