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Another Convicted Felon Who Used Bail to Flee

September 27, 2003|Wendy Thermos

Carlos Alberto Hernandez wasn't the first convicted felon to surprise police and the district attorney's office by bailing himself out of jail. In a similar fashion, presumed roadblocks to escape crumbled at every turn in the case of Hyun "Eddie" Kang.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury convicted the Koreatown mob chieftain in 1999 of multiple counts of gang rape, sodomy and robbery involving organized thefts from call girls.

Days before sentencing, Kang posted $2.5 million bail and fled to South Korea. His father, a local restaurateur, paid the bail bondsman's commission.

As in the Hernandez case, law enforcement officials assumed bail would expire at the trial's end. But that didn't happen. The court transcript shows that neither Judge Morris B. Jones nor prosecutor Michael Carter mentioned canceling bail.

Authorities were able to get Kang returned after "a very lengthy, expensive procedure" that included the signing of an extradition treaty, said Larry Diamond, a bail forfeiture expert and deputy district attorney.

In a blow to taxpayers as well as the legal system, the county treasury never collected a penny of Kang's forfeited bail. Court officials failed to properly notify the bail company of Kang's disappearance. The county lost a two-year lawsuit seeking to collect the $2.5 million.

Wendy Thermos

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