A bounty hunter and one-time Jersey City resident has pleaded guilty to conspiring in a scheme in which he had sheriff’s officers sign false documents so he could collect additional fees by claiming to capture fugitives who had already been caught by police. Adel Mikhaeil admits he paid the sheriff’s officers for their aid. The sheriff’s officers, who previously pleaded guilty, are awaiting sentencing.

Adel Mikhaeil (Office of the Attorney General)

Mikhaeil’s trial was scheduled to start tomorrow. His plea today was an open plea, meaning there was no plea deal with the State Attorney General’s Office, but the presiding judge says he intends to cap Mikhaeil’s sentence at six years in prison in light of the plea and his health and financial issues.

“This bounty hunter enlisted two sheriff’s officers, an insurance executive, another corporate employee, and two of his own employees in his corrupt activities, which included bribing bail bond insurers for their business and dishonestly collecting bounty that he hadn’t rightfully earned,” says Attorney General Jeff Chiesa. “We ultimately snared him in his own web of deceit.”

Stephen Taylor, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice explains, “Through his false body receipts, Mikhaeil raked in a fraudulent windfall. Thanks to our excellent joint investigation with the State Police and Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, he now faces a state prison sentence.”

Two former Hudson County sheriff’s officers who were indicted with Mikhaeil previously pleaded guilty to official misconduct charges. They are awaiting sentencing. The state is recommending a five-year prison sentence for one of those men, and jail time for the other.