Stolen Bail Bonds in Ventura Name:Brian Lloyd Gooch Business Entities:Biker Bail Bonds, Cruz Bail Bonds, Able 1 Bail Bonds, Isla Vista Bail Bonds, Santa Barbara Bail Bonds Offices and Locations:Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Diego counties

Brian Lloyd Gooch, a 51-year-old Ventura resident, has been a licensed bail agent since 1994 — except for the time when the state suspended his license for illegal practices.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office received several complaints that Gooch’s Biker Bail Bonds was operating illegally and using questionable business practices.

The Sheriff’s Office and California Department of Insurance spent 18 months investigating Gooch and one of his employees, Tracy Ward. What did they find? “Evidence of stolen bail bonds along with over a hundred instances where Ward illegally negotiated and/or issued bails bonds without a license at the direction of Gooch.” 

According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Gooch and Ward were arrested for issuing bail bonds without a license, a crime in California. While licensed at the time of her arrest in 2013, the charges against Ward stemmed from the period between December 2011 and August 2012, before she received her license.

The end result: California’s Department of Insurance suspended licenses for Gooch and Ward after their arrest. Gooch also pleaded “no contest” to a perjury charge that arose during the investigation of Biker Bail Bonds.

This predatory industry operates with a Wild West mentality — exactly the opposite of our judicial system’s charge to uphold the law, give people their day in court, and hold offenders accountable. 

Given their history of breaking the law, bail bondsmen like Gooch and Ward serve no public safety function.

In reality, many bail agents run roughshod over the law to boost their businesses’ bottom line. Little wonder then that calls for reforming the state’s broken money bail system seem to grow louder by the day.