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Placer sheriff’s bail-fraud probe turns into national case

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A Sacramento man sought by the Placer County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly perpetuating a nationwide fraud involving phony bail money collections has been arrested. Working with Sacramento Police, Placer sheriff’s detectives arrested Michael Stephen Moynihan, 24, after a short foot pursuit Thursday in Sacramento. A statement from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office said detectives were contacted by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado Springs, Colo., who had been conducting an investigation involving a suspect calling jails and bail-bond agents across the U.S. to obtain information on recently arrested and released individuals. The suspect would impersonate a police officer to obtain the information and then call the released subjects and claim to be their bond agent. At that point, he would demand more bail money from the victims and stated if they did not comply, he would arrest them again. The Sheriff’s Office stated there may be as many as 1,000 potential victims in the case. “Since this investigation began, detectives with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office have been contacted by other law-enforcement agencies from all over the county that have citizens in their jurisdiction who have been victimized,” the Sheriff’s Office release states. Moynihan was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on a no-bail hold. – Journal Staff Report