What it’s like to be a bail bondsman: A transcript of Slate’s Working Podcast, Season 2, Episode 2.

What It’s Like to Be a Bail Bondsman: Working Podcast Transcript

What It’s Like to Be a Bail Bondsman: Working Podcast Transcript

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March 24 2015 3:36 PM

The “How Does a Bail Bondsman Work?” Transcript

Read what Adam Davidson asked Ira Judelson in Episode 2 of Season 2 of Slate’s Working podcast.

Ira Judelson.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Jefferson Siegel.

We’re posting weekly transcripts of Season 2 of Slate’s Working podcast for Slate Plus members. This season’s host is Adam Davidson, the co-founder and host of NPR’s Planet Money podcast. What follows is the transcript for Episode 2, which features Ira Judelson, a bail bondsman in New York. To learn more about Working, click here.

In addition to the transcripts, we’ve added some other Slate Plus perks for Season 2 of Working. The members-only version of each podcast will feature a short Slate Plus extra, and we’re also allowing members early access to the podcast—look for it to publish on Sundays. The nonmember version will publish on Mondays.

You may note some differences between this transcript and the podcast. Additional edits were made to the podcast after we completed this transcript.

Adam Davidson: So, what's your name and what do you do for a living?

Ira Judelson: My name is Ira Judelson, and I’m a New York state bail bondsman.

Davidson: So, I feel like I don't fully know what a bail bondsman is. Just tell me, how does your day begin? What is a typical workday?

Judelson: A typical workday obviously starts as soon as I pick up my cellphone, which obviously I’m glued to at all times. I have three offices, so I know at nighttime when my office is closed at 11 at night and then I start dealing with Corrections, to make sure that my people that I bailed out that day get out. I finish my night about 1 in the morning, and I start my day about 7:30.

I wake up. I put my kids on the bus, and I check my phone, and the phone starts going crazy from people that have been arrested or are going to be arrested, to problems that might have taken place over the night.

Davidson: What is a typical client? Or, I guess you have a huge range, but can you walk me through some of your—

Judelson: Well, I’ve taken out the everyday person from a DWI, to a robbery, to attempted robbery, to an alleged sexual assault, to alleged wise guys, to alleged gang bangers, to Wall Street people, to celebrities.

Davidson: Wow. So, what in a case like that—or in any case—what exactly is your role? Someone—

Judelson: I am the bank for people that get incarcerated. I am, on the street terms, I’m a legal loan shark. I bail people out. I put up their bond to get them out of jail. I take collateral to secure their appearance in court. I become—I wear a lot of different hats. I always tell people that. I talk about it in my book called The Fixer. You know, I could be a priest, I could be a rabbi, could be a social worker, I could be an employment agency. I’m a chameleon, I have to be.

Davidson: So, let’s walk through just the basics. Someone is arrested—

Judelson: Normally what happens is 90 percent of the time, 95 percent of the time, someone gets picked up for an alleged crime. They get put through the system. The system could take anywhere from eight hours to 24 hours for you to finally see a judge. You go in front of a judge and you have a criminal defense attorney, either one appointed by the state or a private attorney. The DA will make their arguments and lay out exactly—[phone rings]—what the charges are–

What the charges are, and then the judge will set a bail. The bail could be—range from anywhere from $500 to $6 million depending on who we’re dealing with.

Davidson: And how is that number determined?

Judelson: You'd have to ask a judge that question, but you know, judges determine it by risk of flight, by strength to the community, charges on the defendant, prior history, and they make their decision. Judges know exactly what they’re doing and they do it, and then I step in.

Davidson: So, there's that moment—is it arraignment, is that what it's called?

Judelson: It's an arraignment, yes.

Davidson: Where the judge says, “OK, you can leave this courtroom on your own, if I get $500,000”—

Judelson: No, it doesn’t work like that. What happens is, the judge basically doesn’t say a word. He sets the bond or a bail amount, and then he—you know, he says, “OK, next case.”

And then it's up to the family or friends to post that bail, whether it be a cash bail or a bondable bail, to get the defendant out. The judge will just set the next court date where the defendant has to appear.

He’s either coming through the system or he’s coming out through on his own, if he made bail.

Davidson: In the courtroom is there—does it all have to happen right there that day?

Judelson: The judge sets bail right in the courtroom, but no, it doesn’t happen there. After that, a lot of people don’t know the bail is going to be and they start scrambling. And you know, people come to me at their most vulnerable times of their lives. Their world is shaken up, and that's where I step in and help them.

Davidson: OK, so someone has been arraigned. They’ve been told, “Your bail is set at $50,000,” or some number that they can’t—they don’t have on them or they don’t have access to. How do they find you? I know when I lived in Brooklyn across from the old Brooklyn House of Detention, there's like, a ton of bail bondsmen signs and–

Judelson: Right. I mean, listen, you know, I’ve been in this business for a little over 17 years. People don’t know what to do. So, when they find the bondsman, and how they find me is through private attorneys that I’ve been doing business with for 17 years, correctional officers that know who I am, and also word of mouth on the street. I mean, you can’t go into Riker’s Island, everybody knows who Ira Judelson is in Riker’s Island.

Everybody knows who Ira Judelson is in the Tombs. Everybody knows who Ira Judelson is in the Brooklyn House of Detention. I mean, this has been 17 years of bailing out the likes of Little Wayne, and Ja Rule, and Plaxico Burress, and Lawrence Taylor, and Robert Durst, and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and we can go down the line with celebrities.

I’m working on an app right now called JammedUp.com. It's a one-stop shopping in the legal world for people that get jammed up. Because we live in New York, so people always know somebody that knows somebody, but there's people in the other 49 states that don’t know people and they don’t know what to do when they get jammed up. They need a civil lawyer, or a criminal lawyer; they need a bail bondsman. You can find it on JammedUp. And that's why it's special, because their world gets turned upside down. People don’t know what to do. They can’t think straight.

Davidson: What I’m picturing is, I mean, I’m terrified, there's this judge who just said some number that’s bigger than all the money I’ve ever seen in the world, and you're just—I literally turn to whoever’s next to me, if it's a corrections officer, if it's my lawyer–

Judelson: Well, usually what's going to happen is, you're in the system for quite a while. So, obviously it would be your wife, it’ll be a friend of yours, they’ll know from the defense attorney—the defense attorney is going to lay out for them, “Hey, listen, Adam’s going to be arraigned. The charges are X. They are going to ask for X amount in bail.”

You know, “There's a bondsman that I use. He’s very good. He’s great. Everybody loves him. I could have him down here, you know, at arraignments ready to go. Or, this is where you need to go tomorrow morning, and Adam’s going to feel uncomfortable for about 24 hours. Call him up, he’ll tell you what you need to get him out of jail.”

And that's how it works. You've got to know the jacket—the charges on the defendant–and his nice-it number, New York state identification number, what judge set the bail, what the actual bail conditions are. And then I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do, you know, what I’m taking, you know? Is this a good risk for me? And then we put everything together, and then we start our day.

Davidson: And does this all happen within hours of the arraignment? Or can it be weeks later–

Judelson: No, this could be weeks—there's cases in this office I’m still working on. I’m working on Bobby Shmurda right now, which is the rapper from Brooklyn. I’ve been working on Bobby’s case since Dec. 16 to try to get him out the door.

Davidson: So, he’s still in–

Judelson: He’s still incarcerated. I believe he’s still at the Tombs right now.

Davidson: Wow, just because getting the paperwork right–

Judelson: No, just you know, putting the bail package together, satisfying the government with what they’re looking for, and satisfying my insurance company to make them feel comfortable on a $2 million—Bobby’s bail is $2 million. So, we’re working on that.

Davidson: All right. So, let’s walk through how you evaluate when you get a call. So, if my bail is set at $50,000, are you giving the court $50,000?

Judelson: I give them a bond that is the same thing as cash, that $50,000. Yeah, so I am on the hook to the court for the $50,000, and I become the obligor to the court. And then I take in the third party, which happens to be either family, friends, or whatever it is as the third party, which I go after.

Davidson: So, if I have $50,000 in bail and I flee, you lose $50,000?

Judelson: I owe $50,000 to the court, and they cash in my bond, and they send me a letter and say, “Mr. Judelson, you owe us $50,000, you have 90 days to pay it. How do you want to do it?”

Davidson: How often does that happen?

Judelson: It happens a lot in the industry. You know, the national rate of bail-jumping is 6 percent. Every hundred people, six people jump. My rate is under 2 percent. But, there are headaches in my industry; there are people that don’t want to do the crime and then can’t do the time. You know, I built my relationships with my clients on trust and respect, to know that you're there for me, I’ll be there for you. If you do the right thing and I’ll always be doing the right thing for me. But if you fuck with me I’m going to fuck with you, you know?

Davidson: How do you fuck with someone? Like, what would that mean?

Judelson: Well, you know, listen, I have licensed PIs that work for me. I have bounty hunters that work for me. I have a team of legal people that work for me. And you know, I will track you down wherever you go, and if not the people that sign for you, I will go after them legally. I will make their lives miserable and I will do whatever I can to make their lives miserable.

Davidson: And that will typically be someone’s mom, someone’s wife?

Judelson: Whoever it might be signing for the bail. It can be moms, cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, whoever it might be, friends. If you want to sign for the bail, you're going to see two bounty hunters, you know, shop up at your job. And no one’s going to like it, if you're a teacher or you're working for the city or what you're doing, when there’s bounty hunters following you, trailing you, watching you, bothering you.

There's going to be letters legally sent to you basically saying that they owe, that we’re going to garnish your wages, we’re going to come after you. And you know, we’re going to make you our bounty hunter; so you're going to tell us where that person is so we can bring them back into custody and give them back to the Department of Corrections and the court to say, hey, we’re going after—we’re doing our job in trying to bring them back to court.

Davidson: Now, to be clear, you're not the guy—you're not a bounty hunter yourself?

Judelson: Well, as a bondsman you're considered a bounty hunter. We have the authority to revocate bonds at any time and go after people –

Davidson: And what does that mean, you can literally grab them off the street and take them?

Judelson: If they violate their bail conditions or if there's a warrant for their arrest, yes.

Davidson: You have police powers, basically.

Judelson: Well, we have power, that's the best way to say it. If they sign a contract with us, yes.

Davidson: So, I’d like to know the range—when someone calls you and you're evaluating the risk, kind of walk me through the range. Like, I know you did Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Now, this is a guy I would think is a very good risk. We know his wife–

Judelson: Well, he—Dominique Strauss-Kahn in my eyes was a good risk, but in the court’s eyes wasn’t right away. His bail was $6 million. A lot of people were chirping in my ear that there was no extradition from France. In my opinion, I felt that Dominique was not a flight risk, was going to stand and fight his charges. How I evaluate a bail is a lot different than how a lot of other people evaluate a bail.

In a case like that, the celebrities that I’ve dealt with, I always feel comfortable with celebrities. There's only been one celebrity that's ever had a problem with me and I believe that was just a miscommunication.

Davidson: Was that Lindsay Lohan?

Judelson: No, Lindsay actually with me was only a situation of an ankle bracelet. I dealt with her attorney on that case, where he asked me to step in, why she was in trouble, to see if I could put her on house arrest and an ankle bracelet and monitor her, which we submitted to the court in California but they didn’t go for it.

But my situation with Earl Simmons, aka DMX, and DMX was out on bond with me up in Westchester, and he was on tour doing something and didn’t realize he had a court date.

And then getting a hold of Earl was a little bit of a situation because he had some issues, but we worked it out later on.

Davidson:    So, we’re surrounded—and we’ll get to this—pictures of really famous rich people, but I’m assuming because the court system works this way, that the vast majority of people you deal with are fairly low-level drug offenders and that kind of–

Judelson: Well, I mean, these are people that grew up differently than a lot of people that are out there. They grew up inner city and, you know, they basically are not of means, so if they are in trouble and they do get in trouble, I try to make sure that I could determine what I think is a good bail risk and not a good bail risk.

You know, I’ve written bails where a mother has walked in and she didn’t know any English. She had her 14-year-old daughter translate for her. She was a factory worker. Her older son was, you know, involved with a group of kids, allegedly might have been involved in a gang, and she was telling me he’s a good boy, and that she doesn’t have a lot of money, and she doesn’t have a lot of people to sign. And that he’s been a United States citizen, and I felt comfortable to write that bail with no collateral. And it was a very high bail.

And then there's been situations where I’ve taken alleged people that have walked in my office, and I could just read them and I just think they’re lying to me. I think they’re looking to get out and do the dip, and are looking to run. And I’ve walked away, and they’ve had a tremendous amount of collateral.

Davidson: How many people do you have a day? Like, new clients.

Judelson: I get about 25 phone calls a day.

I sift through—or we, now—bails that I feel uncomfortable writing or don’t feel comfortable even entertaining. We could get one bail a day; we could do seven bails a day. We could do no bails in one day and we could do 15 in one day, which we did last week.

But we take a lot of phone calls and we work on a lot of bails. I have three offices. We have Brooklyn, we have Queens, and we have Manhattan.

Davidson: And how many bail bondsmen are you?

Judelson: I have two people that I license to work for me, and then I have some other people in my offices that are administrators that entertain the bails, but ultimately at the end of the day I’m the one that makes all decisions on any of the bails.

Davidson: So, today you were in Westchester, you were in the Bronx, you were in Manhattan, you were in Brooklyn–

Judelson: Yeah, I’ll be in Brooklyn a little later on today. I’ve got a bail to do later on in the afternoon. I’m working on a Manhattan case as we speak, and then I have a guy doing a bail for me in Queens.

Davidson: And is that every day, you're running around?

Judelson: Every day, every day. I’m a 24-hour business, even though, you know you're not open 24 hours. You're glued to your phone. I have a flip phone, as you can see–

Davidson: Yeah, that's the oldest—I mean, it's so–

Judelson: This is retro. This is coming back, I’m telling you right now. Rhianna’s got it, Jay Z’s got it, everybody—all the bigs are going back to the flip phone.

Davidson: I had one like that like, 15 years ago.

Judelson: Arnold Schwarzenegger has one. So, we’re going back to that, because my opinion is people lose thought of the idea of these iPhones, and they play on their phones all day long, and they send emails, and things can be misconstrued in an email. You could see an email and you could think about it one way, and somebody else could read it another way. If someone gets on the phone with me I can hear their tone and see what they’re feeling.

Davidson: This is the least digital office I think I’ve been in in a long time. It's all paper. You don’t have—you don’t have a laptop, you don’t–

Judelson: No, I write everything down on a pad, that I need to speak to. I have a flip phone. I have glasses that I paid at CVS for. Working on cases that are all in the bins—

Davidson: There’s an actual bail card? How does that—can, can you walk me through, like, if I was getting bail, what –

Judelson: This is, this is our check-in stuff.

This is how we do our check-in system.

Davidson: So, this is just a piece of paper, name–

Judelson: Basically, yeah—New York State license, his name, his picture, you know, when, when we did his bail, his signature, his next day in court, what part it goes back to–

Davidson: And then there’s a whole bunch of check-ins. So, does that –

Judelson: That means he checks in with me periodically, you know—whatever it is.

Davidson: Is that—so you have an agreement—I want to hear from you once a month?

Judelson: Yeah, yeah—once a week, once a month, depending on the case.

Davidson: And they come in here, or they call?

Judelson: Yeah, this is paperwork that, you know, we determine—you know, people sign, and figure out—fill out, you know, which is confessions of judgment, indemnity agreements, promissory notes, personal guarantees, the information of where they work, what they do. We check out their credit history. We check out where they work.

Davidson: Now he does have a computer. So, there’s one–

Judelson: Yeah, Winston’s the best. And, and over there is Yvette. And they’ve been with me for—well, since inception.

Davidson: I’m an economics reporter. I want to understand the economics a little better. So what is your pool of capital from which you can draw bonds? Like, how, how does that work?

Judelson: I could write a bond up to any number. There’s no pool. There’s no number.

Davidson: And what’s the constraint on that? Is it your insurance policy?

Judelson: My insurance company and me are partners, and they feel comfortable that if I write a bail, that, you know, we, we’re in it together.

Davidson: So, you, you basically—there, there’s no capital constraint on–

Judelson: There’s no capital constraint.

Davidson: And you do actually work like a bank, I’m assuming. I mean, you personally don’t put $6 million of your own money up.

Judelson: No, the insurance company is licensed in the State of New York, and I’m an agent for that company. And we have an agreement with the state, and we’re licensed to write bonds in the State of New York.

Davidson: And so the way you make money is the difference between the interest you–

Judelson: No, I get a certain set fee, which is regulated by the State of New York. The range ranges from—anywhere from six percent to ten percent on the amount of the bond.

Davidson: I see. And that’s, that’s not determined by you; that’s not a competitive–

Judelson: That’s determined by the State of New York.

Davidson: I see. So, so a $6 million bond—that’s real money. I mean, that’s –

Judelson: Yeah, it’s money. It’s money. There’s money to be made if you, if you, if you do it the right way.

You know, I believe in any business that you’re involved in, if you really hustle, you can make a living. I don’t get into the pockets of any other bondsmen. I don’t know what they make. And I just know that I just keep striving every day to, to write the right bonds, and do the right thing, and fight for, you know, what I think are good bonds out there.

Davidson: And how much collateral do you typically have?

Judelson: It depends on what I want to take on each case.

Davidson: Between nothing and 100 percent?

Judelson: It could be, yeah. It could be; it could be over 100 percent; it could be nothing. I mean, that’s just based on my determination, what I feel comfortable with.

Davidson: And if it does come to it, like, do you take—if you have the deed to a house, do you–

Judelson: I could take their house. Yeah, I take it—yeah, I take the house.

Davidson: Have you done that?

Judelson: Yeah, I’ve taken a house, taken a car, taken a fur, you know, taken a lot of different things—jewelry. Things have gone bad in the business where people have not made good on—you know, by me. So, we do what we have to do, you know. We garnish their wages. We try to levy their bank accounts. You know, whatever we could do—we take them to court.

Davidson: Wow. And you have to handle all the–

Judelson: I have a, a legal team that I, you know, I retain that does everything.

Davidson: I see. And that’s costly, so that’s why you would want more than 100 percent.

Judelson: Of course. I mean, listen, if, God forbid, someone jumped on a bail on a house, and the house was—the bail was $100,000, and the house had $200,000 in equity—you know, first of all, you’re going to pay X amount of money to a real estate broker to sell that house, X amount of money to your attorney to fight them in court to make sure you can get that. You have the Homestead Act. Then you got to, you know, you got to pay a broker to basically get their five percent to, to sell the house. And then, more than anything, we’re not in the business of real estate, so, you know, you’re not going to get 100 percent on the dollar; you might get 80 percent on the dollar. You might get 70 percent on the dollar.

We got to turn that over—house over relatively fast.

Davidson: You’re not—you don’t want to, like, stage it and spend–

Judelson: I can’t wait, I can’t wait for open houses, and for people to, you know, see if they like the, the crown molding; I got to flip that house as quick as possible.

Davidson: Gotcha. But—so if, if two percent of your people jump, but you, you can be on the hook for a lot more than their, their bond—you’re on the hook for the whole bail amount, not just their bond.

Judelson: Right.

Davidson: So, that means two percent could represent, like, twenty percent of your costs.

Judelson: Yeah, of course. It could—you know, it depend—I mean, you could say, “Well, Ira, only seven people jumped out of you last year; that’s amazing.” Yeah, but those seven people could’ve been huge, large bonds with not a lot of collateral. So, it, it depends on the, you know, the individual case, and, and who ran them, and that decision—who signed for that bail, and can you get it back?

Davidson: Right. Seven people could be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Judelson: Yeah, exactly. It could be hundreds of thousands of dollars—or it could be seven $10,000 bails—of $70,000—and you, you know, you, you got a little bit of collateral, and you could bridge the loan and pay it. I like to make sure that, you know, I take—I mean, I take in the right bail. But, again, there’s no crystal balls, because people—things change, you know. You know, why they’re out on bail—you know, people—they—I mean, it happens all the time in my industry.

People walk in their—in your office, and they’re the most loving, nicest people you’d ever meet in your life, and they love you, and you’re the greatest. You’re on their Christmas list, and they’re making prayers in church on Sunday—and, and in, in the temple on, on—during Friday night service. And, all of a sudden, you know, they decide that they’re going to not—that, you know, they’re going to run away. And they don’t give a shit about me or my family.

And then the next thing they know, I become the enemy, because I’m coming after them. So, what happened to that love that happened a year ago, when I was there for them? And I take it personally. I take every bail personally.

Davidson: What makes you good at it?

Because I can think of three separate skills that you have to have—and there’s probably more—but there’s, like, the interpersonal thing—just both being friendly but also being—having that critical distance. Then there’s this financial smarts of just being able to understand the risks and, and, and that. And then three, which, to me, would be the one I think I couldn’t handle—is just understanding and dealing with the maddening bureaucracy of the American judicial system—which must be a nightmare. And those, those seem like three very different skill, so–

Judelson: The industry itself is a very tough industry, because the three points you brought out are very good points, but the biggest point is that, in what you do, it’s a gut. Because, you know, the system itself that we’re involved in is a tough system. It, it—every state is different. New York is a very tough place to write bail. I’ve been writing it for, for a very long time; it’s not easy. And I’ve–

Davidson: Why? What makes it not easy?

Judelson: It’s just—it’s not a very bail-friendly state, you know. They’re not very friendly in bail. Sometimes, you know, I could bring a client back if he jumped bond, and I feel I should get full remission. And I don’t get full remission. The city’ll say, “Well, you were negligent on not sending him to court. Let’s work out a deal.” I don’t want to work out a deal. Do you want the body, or do you want, you know, money from me? And we’ve argued about that.

Davidson: Oh, where they’ll say, “Well, we’re not giving you $50,000; we’ll give you $35,000”?

Judelson: Right, and I feel uncomfortable with that, because if I’m, if I’m bringing this guy back, and I’m showing that I’m doing my due diligence to bring him back—you know, granted, if I don’t, I don’t bring him back right away, I understand, but if I’m bringing him back within 90, 120 days, you know, 150 days, and I’m working with bounty hunters, and I’m paying them out of my own pocket, and I’m tracking them through whatever I track them through, and I’ve tracked them through U.S. Marshals service, too, you know, give me—you know, show me a little respect, because we’re bringing the body back.

And then, the city sometimes doesn’t charge them with bail jumping. You know, they’ll add it concurrently into the, into the—their charges of their old case, and I don’t think that’s fair.

Davidson: So, do you drive around? You must drive.

Judelson: I drive—every borough, borough, borough.

Davidson: But that’s not fun in New York, either.

Judelson: No, it’s not. I pay a lot of money in parking. I pay a lot of money in EasyPass. But sometimes, I get a little solace in the car. I listen to my radio stations. You know, I listen to Lisa Evers on Hot 97.

Davidson: And I would think you would want—I’m in my 40s; I’m younger than you—and your job sounds exhausting.

Judelson: I’m exhausted. Like I said, I’m a married man. I have three kids. I coached football, Pop Warner football. I coached my son in baseball. I don’t miss any of my kids’ sporting events. I’m very involved with my kids’ lives. I have a beautiful wife.

But I’m married to my phone. I have a great marriage to my wife. But I’m tired. I’m, I’m, I’m burnt out. I get burnt out a lot. And, you know, on top of the fact that, like I said, I’m doing my app, and I’m doing my website, and, you know, I’m, I’m involved with, you know, coaching, and, and I’m up until 3—sometimes 2, 3 in the morning. Like I said, I worked on that bail the other night until 3:00 in the morning—and back up at 7:30 to put my kids on the bus. I’m exhausted, and I’m burnt out.

Davidson: So, you’re trying to find a way to use your expertise that can bring an income, but without killing yourself.

Judelson: Well, eventually, I have—listen, I have a great staff. And, you know, they’re, they’re very good at what they do, and I have three offices. And we’ve been around a long time. So, it almost becomes like the foundation’s already in place; that we know what we’re doing. Our people know what they’re doing. It’s just that I don’t—I control, and I OK any bail over a certain number. So, when that number comes in, and it’s high, you know, and, and then they got to work on it—everybody only wants to deal with me. Private attorneys only want to deal with me. Family members only want to deal with me. So, it’s constantly Ira, Ira, Ira, Ira.

So, even though I’m delegating authority—and being a good leader is, is delegating authority—at the end of the day, they still want you to be involved. They want you to be hands-on.

Davidson: And if I’m doing the math right, you take about a quarter of the, of the bails that are requested?

Judelson: Well, again, you’re getting a certain amount of phone calls. We wean out the, the ones that we feel right away uncomfortable with, and then we start to narrow it down. And my office weans out, and, and then calls me and says, “Hey, Ira, we got a $10,000 bail; girl in Brooklyn. She’s 22 years old. She got caught for DWI. It’s her second time. Her mother and her cousin are going to sign. They both work for the city. It’s a good bail; I like it.” And I say, “Good. Let’s go. You got it. It’s OK to write it.” And we go like that.

Davidson: But it, it’s—you reject more than you take.

Judelson: I reject a lot more than I take—a lot more. A good bondsman wants to reject more than he takes.

Davidson: Can we—can you just show me some of this stuff? So, we should say we’re-we’re in the office. It’s not the most luxurious office; it’s–

Judelson: at all, unless you want to pay my rent.

Davidson: But you have on the wall just lots of–

Judelson: A lot of press cases that I’ve done over the last few years.

Davidson: So, these are mostly, like, New York Post, Daily News.

Judelson: Daily News, New York Post, New York Times—you know, different, different newspapers, you know.

This is Ja Rule. I did Ja Rule, and then he wore a “got bail?” T-shirt in the “BET Awards,” and he called me, and sent it to me. This is a New York Times article on me that came out in 2010, you know, and some of the celebrities, such as Katt Williams, and DMX, and Kristin Davis, and the late ODB.

This was an alleged pension scam in Manhattan. This was Cloud Starchaser, who was—I wrote his bond—that was allegedly—well, actually, I wouldn’t say “allegedly;” he was actually stalking Ivanka Trump. This is Robert Durst. I did Mr. Durst.

Davidson: Wow. What was he like?

Judelson: Nice guy, you know. He was–

Davidson: Are you watching the show about him on–

Judelson: I’ve watched the HBO show, you know. I mean, I don’t really know what happened out there; I just know he’s always done right by me.

This was a, a schoolteacher that slept with her student on a $3 million bail.

This is Lawrence Taylor here, to the right—up, up there. There’s Plaxico Burress.

One of my favorite cases of all time is David Lemus, the defendant that was—his case was overturned. They charged him with killing somebody in the Palladium in, in the early ’90s, and he didn’t do it, and the case was overturned. I wrote his bail on appeal, and me and David became very close. I actually helped him find some employment while he was out on bail, and we built a relationship. And I’m, I’m really happy that that worked out.

There’s Anna Gristina, the “madams” case. There’s the Lindsay Lohan’s case, where they mention me about doing the bracelet. And a boxer, Edgar Santana—I did his bail. And then there’s–

Davidson: Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Judelson: Dominique Strauss-Kahn over here. I had a great relationship with his wife.

Davidson: Now why wouldn’t she just write a check for–

Judelson: She didn’t have it. She didn’t have it. You can’t just write a check. It doesn’t work that way. She had to wire me money, and put up some–

Davidson: She’s—isn’t she worth hundreds of millions?

Judelson: Yeah, but, you know, people don’t want to stay in jail. So, you know, they could be worth hundreds of millions, but liquidating that’s not as easy as you think. And, you know, and then you pay tax on it when you liquidate it, and it’s, it’s cost-effective to just go through a bondsman. I was on Fox 5 News. I did a special there.

Davidson: And then I like you have the Godfather and Scarface

Judelson: Yeah, yeah—two guys I happen to respect from the movie industry, you know—Al Pacino and Al Pacino—and then above—but those are two movies of, of people that, at their point, used their power—sometimes abused it. So, I try to make sure that I don’t abuse my power.

Davidson: All right. I—what have I not asked about that people misunderstand about your industry that you want to get out there?

Judelson: I mean, the, the only thing I want people to understand—people that are listening to your podcast—is that I am an ally, and I’ll always be there for somebody that’s in trouble, and I’m not going to judge them. And, you know, when they, when they need to find somebody in the bail business, that they’re, they’re relying on me for me to do my job, and do it the right way. And I will. I will always be there for them. As long as they don’t screw me and fuck with me, I will be there for them.