DA Says 'Bond Girl' Wouldn't Answer Questions - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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DA Says 'Bond Girl' Wouldn't Answer Questions

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Leah Hulan of Grumpy's Bail Bonds Leah Hulan of Grumpy's Bail Bonds
Image from adult website Image from adult website
Image from Grumpy's billboard Image from Grumpy's billboard
Former competitor Charles Johnson Former competitor Charles Johnson
Investigator Barry Carroll Investigator Barry Carroll

Leah Hulan is the so-called Bond Girl of Middle Tennessee -- known for her bail bonding business and provocative ads.

A NewsChannel 5 investigation first discovered serious questions about a death certificate she gave the courts.

It turned out to be fake.

So what happened?

Our chief investigator Phil Williams says it took months.

But, after our investigation, Leah Hulan was finally forced to pay the hundred thousand dollars she owed taxpayers.

Still, a former competitor questions whether it was really justice.

"I have a wonderful relationship with our judges, the DAs," Hulan first told Williams last year.

But justice looks very differently to a former bail-bonds competitor, Charles Johnson.

"Williamson County has a reputation for being hard on poor people and black people," Johnson now says.

Hulan quickly became known around Franklin for her sex-charged cable T-V ads. 

Some even knew about the adults-only website that she operated for a while.

"I've had a lot of people pass by my billboards and just call me and tell me, you know, you're so pretty or you're hot," Hulan told us.

Johnson says, "She told me that she was going to write all the bonds, and if you are in my way, get out of my way."

In fact, Hulan had blamed competitors like Johnson for first suggesting that she had given the courts a fake death certificate -- just in time for her and her husband to get out of paying a hundred thousand dollar bond.

"Our court system said it was valid -- so case closed," she said last year.

The bond involved alleged drug dealer Salvio Diaz, who had worked around Hulan's farm before he skipped town.

Davidson County district attorney general Torry Johnson called the death certificate "a complete fraud upon the court system."

Still, even when district attorneys in Davidson County questioned whether Williamson County judges had been tricked, her own DAs just ignored it.

But Williamson County DAs did haul Charles Johnson before a judge -- and put him out of business -- over complaints that two clients had trouble getting their money back.

DAs even demanded that he explain a $30 subtraction error.

"It wasn't that I was trying to steal any money -- it was just a human error," Johnson says. "Anybody could make the same mistake."

In fact, it wasn't until NewsChannel 5 Investigates uncovered evidence that Hulan had indeed given the courts a fake death certificate that the Williamson County DA's office finally assigned investigator Barry Carroll to analyze it.

"It's bogus -- flat out," Carroll says. "There's no doubt at all."

And what he discovered on that death certificate left him with plenty of questions about whom was responsible for the fraudulent document. (Read the report from the district attorney's investigator.)

"Ms. Hulan lawyered up?" Williams asks Carroll.

"Yes," he answers.

"She wouldn't talk to you?"

"No."

"Wouldn't answer any questions?"

"No."

In Davidson County court, officials had also wanted to put Hulan and her husband under oath. 

But she withdrew her request to do business in Nashville. So, she didn't have to answer their questions.

"That case is over -- I'm not answering anymore questions on that case," Hulan told Williams last year.

Williams asks Johnson, "Did you ever refuse to answer the court's questions?"

"No," he replies.

"You answered every one of their questions?"

"Yes."

But in Johnson's case, a Williamson County judge issued a "show cause" to order him to answer questions about a home address he had given the court -- then locked him up until it could be verified.

"And you stayed in jail?" Williams asks.

"Two days," Johnson says.

"Two days?"

"No insulin. No water."

Hulan, on the other hand, just paid the $100,000 -- and with that, the DA's office closed the investigation into the fraud upon the court.

"In this case, we could not prove that Grumpy's or Leah or anybody associated with Grumpy's knew that that document was fraudulent," Carroll explains.

Williams asks Johnson, "Why do you think you were treated differently?"

He answers, "Well, I'm a black man. She's a white woman."

Whatever the reason, Hulan's competitors say they've complained about other questionable behavior -- behavior that her friends at the courthouse just don't seem to want to investigate.

"If they had treated her like they treated you, what would have happened to her?" Williams asks Johnson.

"She would have been out of business a long time ago," the former competitor says.

Williamson County's DA told NewsChannel 5 recently he didn't believe he could force Hulan to cooperate with the investigation into the fraud upon the very court she serves.

Neither she nor her attorney our returned phone calls.

And when Williams reached her husband, he wouldn't answer any questions.

Instead, he became very agitated and told us, "If you think you've got something new, just bring it on."

Back to NewsChannel 5 Investigates

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