New York Times Article about the book


“Bail Bonds; Bondsmen, Defendants and Bounty Hunters”
  by, Clara Vannucci, and project co-creator, Bobby Zouvelos.

Fabrica Press introduces the long awaited book:
"Bail Bonds: Bondsmen, Defendants, & Bounty Hunters"
of George “Zoo” Zouvelos, the “BAIL BOSS” ®
In this visually stunning photographic collection and story description, Ms. Vannucci and project co-creator, Bobby Zouvelos, have further introduced the world to the famous “BAIL BOSS” ®  George "Zoo" Zouvelos, the basics to New York bail bonding, Bounty Hunters and Criminal Defendants out of jail on bail bonds. The book offers an intimate look behind the scenes daily life of a Bail Bondsman, Bounty Hunter and family man.
Over the course of two years, Ms. Clara Vannucci, and Mr. Bobby Zouvelos immersed themselves into the truly unseen world of New York Professional Bail Bondsman and bounty hunter, George Zouvelos, and his trained team. While "Shadowing" THE BAIL BOSS; this book chronicles both the private life and sanctuary of a man and his family while offering the stark contrast of his professional daily operations, involving the true dangers of “Zoo” his staff and deputized teams of bounty hunters.

With a first person perspective, one is introduced to the intricacies of New York bail bonds, the roles of the bondsman, criminal justice system, interactions with the criminal defendants, and the bounty hunter.

This brilliant photo journalistic project allows the reader a crystal clear window into the inner workings of a man, Zouvelos, balancing three worlds, the Bondsman, the Bounty Hunter and the private man who is deeply immersed in his family, community, church and the rich Hellenic and American cultural traditions that come with it.
This is an introduction to the life of a man that keep constant vigil and supervision over thousands of criminal defendants out on pre-trial release from jail on bail bonds.

This never before seen New York centric photographic journey does much more than express and illustrate the inner workings of a professional, sophisticated and complex and New York City based bail operation.  The book immerses the reader in the dangers and the real life daily struggles of a man who tends to his intense community supervised of the myriads of criminal defendants released from jail.

The link to get your photojournalist and New York bail bonds 101 copy of this brilliant book, “Bail Bonds; Bondsmen, Defendants and Bounty Hunters” by Clara Vannucci, and project co-creator, Bobby Zouvelos, is above.  When you purchase your very own copy today, and from this page, you will assist in supporting George “ZOO” Zouvelos “BAIL BOSS”® and his efforts to keep and protect the private Zero Cost to the taxpayer vibrant New York State commercial bail bond industry.
Look out for the BAIL BOSS® series of books authored by George “Zoo” Zouvelos, The Spartan.  This book series are uniquely George Zouvelos.  They will make you laugh, angry, cry and cheer over the daily struggles, joys, failures, conquests and life as seen from the unique, keen and witty eyes of the “Bail Boss”® The only and only!

The Bail Boss® on the New York and American Legal System Regarding Bail, Criminal Defendants and the Private and Lawful Contractual Right of Re-Arrest:

In the American legal system an individual accused of a crime, misdemeanor or felony, is called a criminal defendant (the accused).  Not all defendants require bail be set by the Court after they are arrested by the police (law enforcement agency).

After the police arrest and “Book” (the accused), and take him/her into custody, the police take pictures, finger prints and write the criminal charges etc. This is before the accused are taken in front of a Judge either physically or appear by video conference with the court, as is required by law.

Some states have an automatically determined bail schedule that is applied to a defendant, but New York primarily does not.  Unless the accused are given a “desk appearance ticket” (DAT) to appear in court by a police officer, and released on their own recognizance (ROR) of (OR) for minor crimes and violations of law, every other person accused of a crime must be taken in front of a judge as a matter of law-and within 24 hours of the original time of arrest.

It is important to note that, not everyone accused of a crime is guilty of that Crime they are  accused of.  Statistically and roughly, 50% of the persons arrested in New York, and are adjudicated in State Criminal and Supreme Courts, are found innocent, and 50% are found or plead guilty.

At the first criminal arraignment, the accused criminal charges are read, a bail hearing is conducted and the criminal defendants a Judge perceives as a “flight risk” get set a certain bail amount to be paid.  This amount is not to buy freedom, but it must be paid in cash or by purchasing a bail bond to guarantee their return to court during the period leading to and through trial. 

In New York, most criminal defendants brought before a judge for arraignment are released on their own recognizance (ROR), and without requiring to put-up any bail initially.  Later on, a vast majority of these end-up not appearing in court as they were supposed to, or get arrested on new criminal charges where a judge later sets bail on the old, new or both criminal cases.

However, those who do require bail be paid, and during the harshest economic times in modern history, professional bail bondsmen are needed more than ever. Bondsmen / women offer affordable services to the public, the accused, and at Zero Cost to the taxpayers of the state.  Those desiring to pay the bail in the most affordable manner possible prudently seek the services of professional bail bondsmen.  Bondsmen offer those accused (and de facto their families) the opportunity to defend themselves as free persons going on with their lives while the slow wheels of justice turn during the time their cases are adjudicated in the New York state criminal court system.

To the bondsmen, clients pay a small amount of the bail and promise the defendant will fully comply with the rules of the court and the bondsman’s private bail contract.  In return, the bondsman pays the full amount of the bail in the form of a bail bond that is posted in front of a Judge in Court.

The defendant and his family or friends make promises to the bondsman that they will follow the terms and conditions contained in his/her contract.  In turn, the bondsman posts a bail bond that makes a contractual promise to the Court that the defendant will make his timely appearance for each and every court appearance.

Therefore, after the bail bond posted with the Court, the criminal defendant is released from jail into the sole contractual custody of the bail bondsman and / or obligor.

The United States Supreme Court in the case of  Taylor v. Taintor, 16 Wall. 366, 371, 21 L. Ed. 287, stated in part:

"When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties (Bondsman). Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize him and deliver him up in their discharge; and if that cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another State; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and, if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of  new  process. None is needed. It is likened to the rearrest by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner."

During the entire time a criminal defendant is out on bail, bondsmen and bounty hunters such as  Zouvelos, and his trained professionals, monitor the criminal defendants as contractually promised.

If the defendant does not make his court appearance the bond will be forfeit by the Court and the bondsman and his insurance company (surety) loses the money if they cannot find the defendant very fast and return them to jail.  Typically, it is the bondsmen who will have to pay the full penal amount of the forfeiture if that is not cured with the court by the timely return of the criminal defendant fugitive absconder.

Otherwise, if the defendant does not follow the rules of the bail contract, and become recalcitrant, attributing behaviors that will place the bond in jeopardy, the bondsman may bounty hunt the defendant and return him/her to jail and revoking the bond.

Professional operatives like Zouvelos do not bail people from jail so they can continue committing other and new crimes.  Getting arrested on new charges while out on bail bond is a material breech of the bail contract warranting bail to be revoked at the clients own expense.

In New York, and also pursuant to common law, the lawful right to re-arrest a criminal defendant out on bail is found in the New York Criminal Procedure Law (NYCPL) § 530.80 Order of recognizance or bail; surrender of defendant:

1.“At any time before the forfeiture of a bail bond, an obligor may surrender the  defendant  in  his  exoneration,  or  the  defendant may surrender  himself,  to the court in which his case is pending or to the sheriff to whose custody he was committed at the time of giving bail…,"

Also the United States Federal Court in, United States v. Meltzer, 100 F. 2d 739 - (Court of Appeals, 7th Cir. 1938) held:

“The defendant from the signing of the bond for him, is released by the United States Marshal, and then the bondsman becomes the jailer of the defendant; and, if that jailer, that bondsman, feels himself insecure; if he feels that his defendant is going to jump his bail, his bond; all that he has to do is to bring him into court, and say, Your Honor, I desire to surrender this defendant; that's all he has to do; and the Judge says to the Marshal; Mr. Marshal, take the defendant into custody; whereupon, the Marshal takes the defendant back into the custody of the United States, and the bondsman is released of his liability on the bond.”

A clear example of a criminal defendant putting a bail bond in jeopardy requiring its revocation and his/her return to jail is clearly set forth in the New York Appellate Court case of, Joseph Saladino et al., Respondents, v. Stuyvesant Insurance Company, New York Appellant 39 A.D.2d 765 (2d Dept. 1972):

“Although no forfeiture had been declared by the court, defendant was justified in apprehending and surrendering the principal. At any time before forfeiture of an undertaking, a surety may surrender the principal and, for that purpose, may arrest him at any place within the State (former Code Crim. Pro., §§ 590, 591; CPL 530.80). Under the circumstances obtaining at the time, defendant had ample cause for belief that its bonds were in jeopardy.”

To pay for the investigation, location, rearrest, transport and surrender to jail service, the obligor or bondsman initially deducts charges from any security placed on deposit for the enforcement of his bail contract/indemnity agreement pursuant to New York Criminal Procedural Law (NYCPL) § 520.20 (4) (ii).  If that security is not adequate to cover what is owed and arrangements are not made by the defendants contract signors, they must legally be pursued in order for them to pay any and all contingency charges associated with the criminal defendant and / or the full amount of the bail bond penal forfeiture, plus all expenses.

Zouvelos’ job is more difficult when specifically trying to persuade the more recalcitrant defendants to appear in court, report to his offices, lead a law abiding life, not leave the jurisdiction and always be honest, cooperative and forthright as court ordered and contractually promised.

In a study published called, “The Fugitive Evidence on Public Versus Private Law Enforcement From Bail Jumping”, by professor Eric Helland, Claremont-Mckenna College, and professor and Alexander Tabarrok, George Mason University, which states in part as follows:

“If hardened criminals do not fear the law, they may yet fear their mother’s wrath should the bond dealer take possession of their mother’s home because they fail to show up for trial.  In order to make flight less likely, bond dealers will also sometimes monitor their charges and require them to check in periodically. In addition, bond dealers often remind defendants of their court dates…” ...“…bond dealers and bail enforcement agents (bounty hunters) are effective at discouraging flight and at recapturing defendants.  Bounty hunters, not public police, appear to be the true long arms of the law."

The book, “Bail Bonds; Bondsmen, Defendants and Bounty Hunters” captures bounty hunter George Zouvelos and his team of bounty hunters, who he deputizes in order to assist him to achieve the task promised to the court, and to keep the defendant fully compliant with the terms and conditions of the private bail contract.

This is where Ms. Vannucci and co creator Mr. Zouvelos brilliantly weave photographic stories offering an insightful visual narrative of the dangerous and unexplored zone unique to the United States legal system, where at ZERO COST to the taxpayer, private enterprise monitoring of criminal defendants, searching, re-arresting and crime clash and merge into a wonderful mosaic of reality as opposed to movie fantasy.

Bail Bond book is truly a never before seen fascinating photojournalistic journey into the life of George Zouvelos, the “BAIL BOSS”® and his contemporary New York, which is remote, murky and dangerous, but full of family tradition, life, fear and respect for our Maker.  A New York that is light years away from the city we have grown accustomed to know as, “The City That Never Sleeps”, and for this reason George Zouvelos makes it even more fascinating, exciting and real.

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