Stephen Perkins pled guilty today before Judge Cynthia Becker in Dekalb Superior Court to 8 counts of Forgery in the Second Degree and 2 counts of Computer Forgery. Perkins was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In August 2003, Stephen Perkins and employees of his car booting business began showing letters allegedly authored by Atlanta Chief of Police Richard Pennington and Fulton Solicitor Carmen Smith to Atlanta police officers when questioned about their booting practices. Perkins' company was engaging in several booting practices prohibited by state law and City of Atlanta ordinances, but Perkins was using the letters to justify his practices. Both letters were determined to be forgeries.
At the time Fulton Solicitor General Carmen Smith also had pending against Perkins two cases involving his failure to register as a bail recovery agent. Suspicious that Perkins may have forged documents in that case also, the documents were examined, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was asked to investigate. A search warrant was executed by the GBI with assistance from the Atlanta Police Department on Perkins' home, office, computer and vehicle, which revealed the following forged documents: 1 A letter dated January 15, 2003 from Attorney General Thurbert Baker to Atlanta City Solicitor Raines Carter concerning booting statutes 2. A September 13, 2000 letter from Senior Assistant Attorney General Janet Wray to Atlanta Chief of Police Beverly Harvard concerning booting statutes 3. A November 13, 2001 letter from Atlanta Police Department Major L. J. Robinson of the License and Permits Unit to Stephen Perkins concerning booting ordinances 4. A May 16, 2003 letter from Atlanta Chief of Police Richard Pennington to Stephen Perkins concerning booting ordinances 5. An April 24, 2003 letter from Fulton Solicitor General Carmen Smith to Atlanta Chief of Police Richard Pennington concerning booting statutes 6. A March 22, 2001 letter from Secretary of State Cathy Cox’s Professional Licensing Boards Division to Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett concerning licensing of bail recovery agents 7. An October 27, 1999 letter from Senior Assistant Attorney General Janet Wray to Stephen Perkins concerning licensing of bail recovery agents 8. A March 9, 1997 Unofficial Attorney General Opinion to William G. Miller, Joint Secretary, State Examining Boards, authored by former Attorney General Mike Bowers concerning licensing of bail recovery agents 9. A letter on Perkins computer from Fulton Solicitor General Carmen Smith to Atlanta Police Chief Richard Pennington concerning booting laws 10. A letter on Perkins computer from Secretary of State Cathy Cox’s Office of Professional Licensing Boards to Fulton County Sheriff Jackie Barrett
Noting the seriousness of the offense, and the victimization of both the public officials involved, the court system, and the public, Judge Becker sentenced Perkins to 1 year to serve on each count of the Indictment, with each count to run consecutive, for a total ten years imprisonment.
Perkins also pled guilty to a charge of Impersonating a Police Officer, which was prosecuted by Catherine Blackburn of the Dekalb District Attorney's Office. He also received a 10 year sentence on that charge, which he will serve concurrent with the first sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Kim Schwartz. It was investigated by Special Agents Clay Nix, Maria Irizarri, and Wesley Horne of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. They were assisted by Detective M.J. Conland and Investigator C.B. Cook of the Atlanta Police Department..