Bail bondsman, son arrested on tax charges

March 18, 2010|By Tricia Bishop |

Baltimore's leading bail bondsman and his son were arrested Wednesday on federal charges of filing false tax returns and illegally running an insurance business, among other counts.

Milton Tillman Jr., 54, and his son, Milton Tillman III, 35, who run 4 Aces Bail Bonds Inc. and other companies, were each released pending trial during an initial appearance in Baltimore U.S. District Court on Wednesday afternoon. Neither man had been able to review the 28-count indictment before being brought to court.

Tillman Jr.'s attorney said they "had known about this case for some time," however.

Federal agents raided Tillman Jr.'s offices a year and a half earlier, seizing financial, phone and business records belonging to him and his son, along with records from a longshoremen's union at the Dundalk Marine Terminal. Milton Jr. is also charged with defrauding Ports of America Baltimore Inc. by overrepresenting the hours he worked as a longshoreman.

He's been prosecuted federally twice. He pleaded guilty in 1993 to trying to bribe a city zoning board member, and in 1996 was sentenced to 57 months in prison on charges he failed to pay taxes and funneled money into a nightclub he owned. The new indictment, returned last month and unsealed Wednesday, contains similar charges.

Milton Jr. is charged with conspiracy to defraud the Treasury Department by underrepresenting his earnings as a bail bondsman while spending large amounts to acquire apartment buildings, pay court fines and maintain his BMW along with hefty premiums on nearly $10 million in life insurance. He's also charged with five counts of filing false tax returns, one count of unlawfully engaging in the insurance business (his previous convictions prevent it), and 15 counts of wire fraud.

Tillman III is charged with the conspiracy, five counts of false tax statements, and one count of permitting a prohibited person - his father - to participate in the insurance business.

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