Embezzlement in the O.C. Name:Arturo Alfred Torres Business Entities:Tecate Bail Bonds, Domino Bail Bonds and Bonnie & Clyde Bail Bonds Offices and Locations:Los Angeles and Orange counties

Arturo (Art) Alfred Torres is a bounty hunter and private investigator based in Los Angeles and Orange counties. He appeared on the short-lived reality show “Bounty Wars” on the Discovery Channel.

Maybe it was his 15 minutes of fame that made him think he was above the law. In 2015, the Orange County District Attorney charged Torres with felony grand theft by embezzlement. According to the District Attorney’s office, he bailed out a man who’d been arrested and drove to the man’s mother’s house. Torres told the mother to write a $20,000 check to him personally and deposited it into his personal checking account.

“Torres refused to return the money, despite several attempts from the victim.”

The woman’s son had all charges against him dropped. Soon after, his bail was exonerated — which required the money his mother paid, minus Torres’ $2,000 fee, to be returned to the mother.

According to the OC Register, Torres refused to return the $18,000 he owed to the mother.

Bounty hunters thrive under California’s broken money bail system, preying on desperate families to make a buck. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones called Torres’ theft “reprehensible” and said, “Licensed bail agents and bounty hunters have an obligation to follow the letter of the law,” according to the Orange County Register.

Torres pled guilty to felony grand theft in 2016.

Despite an obligation to follow the law, public records are rife with examples of bail bondsmen and bounty hunters openly flouting it. It’s common for them to forcibly enter homes, harass innocent residents, impersonate law enforcement personnel, and threaten people with guns and Tasers.

How many more families need to suffer at the hands of scheming bounty hunters? The answer to that question may depend on California legislators’ willingness to take on the bail bonds industry instead of being intimidated by them.