Lexington National Insurance Corporation
According to a June 2018 report from the National Institute on Money in Politics examining the influence of the bail bond industry on state-level politics, Lexington National Insurance has spent a total of $100,652 on campaign contributions for state campaigns from 2009 to 2017.
According to records with the California Secretary of State, Lexington National Insurance Company made a total of $608,603.76 in campaign contributions in the state since 2007.
According to the National Institute on Money in Politics, Lexington National Insurance has spent a total of $364,143 on state lobbying from 2005 to 2018. This state lobbying was conducted in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
According to its 2015 Financial Examination Report with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, control of Lexington National Insurance Corporation “was maintained by Phyllis Kimmelman-Frank, an individual.” Personally, Phyllis K. Frank individually owned 39.1 percent of the company, and both the Phyllis K. Frank Irrevocable Trust-2010 and the Phyllis K. Frank Irrevocable Trust-2012 each held 10 percent of the company.
According to its 2015 Financial Examination Report with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and its corporate registration in Florida, the following individuals serve as directors of Lexington National Insurance Corporation with other corporate affiliations listed below.
- Phyllis Kimmelman Frank, Vice President, Lexington National Insurance Corporation
- Ronald Allen Frank, CEO & President, Lexington National Insurance Corporation
- Mark Thomas Holtschneider, Executive VP & General Counsel, Lexington National Insurance Corporation
- Harold I. Hackerman, President, Ellin & Tucker
- Sheldon Harvey Press, Retired, Maryland Workers Compensation Commission
- Stevan Marc Meizlish, President, MeizCorp. Media Group
- Richard Brian Silberstein, President, Silberstein Insurance Group
In addition to the Lexington National employees listed above as directors, the following individuals also serve as senior officers of the company in the noted roles, based on the 2015 Financial Examination Report and corporate registration.
- Kimberly Ellen Marzullo, Treasurer
- John Michael Monks, Vice President
- Randy Kenneth Parton, Senior Vice President
- Lisa R. Slater, Chief Operating Officer, Vice President, & Secretary
Leaving Defendants Indebted After Charges Dropped
In July 2016, the Baltimore Sun ran a profile on Demorrea Tarver, who was arrested in 2008 on charges of possession of an illegal firearm and marijuana in Baltimore. After spending a few days behind bars, his mother came up with $5,000 from an earlier accident settlement to put towards the $30,000 premium required for Fred Frank Bail Bonds, a bail agent for Lexington National, to bail Tarver out and post his $275,000 bail, an amount “not far off the $250,000 to $350,000 bail for various officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray.” However, weeks later, Tarver’s charges were dropped, as the main arresting officer in his case “was the now-notorious Fabien Laronde, who was fired from the Baltimore Police Department earlier this year after a string of incidents and complaints about his conduct that date as far back as 2006.”
The possession charges were Tarver’s first arrest, so he “didn't know what to expect, especially when it came to bail.” He recalled that one of his friends with arrest experience told him, “They'd be like, 'it's your first charge, Shorty, that's a high-ass bail for a tiny-ass gun,” and others told “him to stop making payments altogether in the hope the debt would be dropped,” and for several months he stopped paying towards the premium as the $150 biweekly payments were too much for him and his mother to pay. However, under a 2012 Maryland law meant to “crack down on bail bondsmen who discounted premiums and let payments slide,” bondsmen are “required to ‘take all necessary steps to collect the total amount owed, including any debt collection remedies provided by law.’” As a result of this law, which Tarver was unaware of, his case went to “a debt collector who, since 2011, has been adding $2,070 (10 percent of the principal they inherited) to his balance in annual interest, plus thousands more in attorney fees and court costs.” A legal assistant with the debt collector told the Baltimore Sun “that they charge a 10 percent annual interest rate because ‘under Maryland law we're allowed to.’”
While “Tarver made a deal with the debt collector to pay just $100 a month—that's all they can manage” as part of a court judgment, as of 2016, he owed more “than the day he took out the bond. In 2008 his balance was $20,700. In March of 2014 it was $27,112.” As of June 2016, “he owed $29,433, including $5,540 in interest.” Furthermore, “as long as he pays just $100 a month, Tarver isn't even keeping up with the interest, putting him on track to pay the debt never, literally. At this rate, the longer he's alive, the more debt he will accumulate—a striking but common occurrence when it comes to debt of all kinds.” The Sun reported, “A debt like this is almost guaranteed to push Tarver into bankruptcy, destroying his credit but also stopping the flow of money to the debt collector.”
Furthermore, given their inexperience with the criminal justice system, Tarver’s mother “unwittingly made a huge mistake: she rushed to post bail for her son on the same day it was set, instead of waiting for a judge to review it, which may or may not have changed the amount. But it was almost the weekend, and she was told that her son would have to spend the weekend behind bars for that, and she was anxious to get him out.” At the time, “Baltimore City was one of just three Maryland counties that provided counsel at the bail review stage.” Douglas Colbert, a University of Maryland law professor, said, “What I'm hearing is that people are being told 'we can get you a lawyer but you're gonna have to go back to jail for the evening, or you can have a hearing right now before me.' It's putting the defendant in a very uncomfortable situation since they do not want to spend any more time in jail or alienate the commissioner.”
Fraudulent Immigration Bonds in California
In June 2007, the California Department of Insurance filed1 an accusation against Lexington National Insurance Company, alleging that Lexington allowed Action Bail and Action Immigration to solicit California bail agents and “refer immigration bond applicants” to their firms for a commission. The department stated that Lexington “conducted its business fraudulently” and failed “to carry out its contracts in good faith.” In particular, Lexington allowed these referrals and commission to occur despite knowing that “most bail agents in California maintain only a bail agent license to transact bail and do not have the required fire and casualty broker-agent license necessary to transact immigration bonds in California.” Overall, according to the complaint, “Since 2005, Action Bail and Action Immigration themselves have transacted several hundred immigration bonds in California underwritten by Respondent by soliciting immigration bonds by the internet, by soliciting bail agents here to sell the bonds,” and by undertaking other actions, all in violation of California Insurance Code.
Furthermore, in California, “Lexington’s approved rate filing for federal immigration bonds is twelve percent of the penal amount, plus $10,” but the firm allowed Action “to charge all California immigration bond applicants of premium rate of fifteen to twenty percent of the penal amount for the Lexington immigration bond, well in excess of Lexington’s approved rates.” Lexington also allowed Action “to charge and collect annual renewal premium on such bonds” without approval from the California Department of Insurance.