A former Bartow bail bondsman has been arrested in Fort Lauderdale on federal charges that he and three others sold personal information on 500 people to a confidential informant, intending for the informant to use the data to file fraudulent income tax returns.
Ronald "Rico" Reed surrendered to authorities last week and pleaded not guilty to seven felony charges during a hearing in U.S. District Court. He was released after posting a $100,000 bond.
Officials say the information included names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.
If convicted, Reed could face up to 12 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release and fines exceeding $250,000.
When contacted Wednesday, Reed told The Lakeland Ledger that his lawyer has advised him not to comment.