Daniel Dugger of Franklin is one of many people intrigued and concerned by the story of fugitive politician Jeff Cassman, who is wanted by federal agents for allegedly running a Ponzi scheme and faces mail and securities fraud charges that could put him behind bars for decades.
The software developer decided to put his skills and business network to work out of concern for the safety of Cassman’s wife and nine (possibly 10) children and to stand up for his industry. Dugger owns and operates Bail Bond Software Solutions, a company that assists bail bondsmen track their clients’ cases and business.
“When I heard about what Cassman had done, that he had taken his wife and kids on the run and how he treats them, really concerned me,” Dugger said. “I also noticed that he skipped out on a bond ... With the margins that bonding companies operate under, one skipped bond can literally destroy their business.”
Since the story broke on NashvillePost.com last week, Dugger has sent wanted posters to bail bondsmen, who employ bounty hunters, nationwide. He said that that he sent word to more than 100 companies, members of the Professional Bail Agents of the United States and state organizations in places like Kansas and Utah.
“Cassman may not be in those places,” Dugger said, “but bail bondsmen have far-reaching networks. Hopefully this will help.”
Those networks may have to reach across U.S. borders. Information recently obtained by NashvillePost.com suggests Cassman could be hiding in Mexico. He can speak some Spanish, Latin and Italian and is most likely hiding in an area with a Catholic church that holds Latin mass. (Cassman has claimed that he is a graduate of Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Conn., but NashvillePost.com has learned that that too is a false claim.) He also has been known to work and live near Amish and Mormon communities and has a strong affinity for Italy and all things Italian.
Finding him figures to be a tough task, but Larry Kirk of Beebe, Ark., a former investor with Cassman, was excited to hear about Dugger’s contribution to the cause. Kirk told NashvillePost.com, “I think this is great. We realize that we won’t be getting any money back. He is probably scamming someone else right now. Our main thing is concern for the children and that they get back home where they belong.”
Kirk, 66, a former employee of Saturn, said that Cassman took him for $46,500 that was meant for retirement. On top of that, he lost an additional $17,000 that had to be paid in taxes.
The former resident of Chapel Hill, Tenn. said that when he and others confronted Cassman about the missing money before he went on the lam, Cassman told them, “No court will put me in jail because I have so many children. Someone has to take care of them so a judge wouldn’t do that.”
A family connection
While Dugger and Kirk are doing what they can to track down Cassman, others aren’t so inclined to help. Shortly after this story broke Mark Cassman, Jeff’s brother, sent NashvillePost.com an e-mail.
Calling previous reporting “malicious and misinformed,” Cassman demanded to know the origin of the story and asked, among other things, if the people NashvillePost.com interviewed pushed for it to be published.
“The anonymous source you cite in your report is laughable,” he wrote. “Who is this person? What must I do to find this person’s name?”
It is NashvillePost.com policy not to divulge such information and Mark Cassman was encouraged to speak with federal law enforcement agents. Cassman stated that he had no interest in speaking with agents and that he was “only interested in this story because it publicly destroys [his] family name.”
Without having been asked the question, Mark Cassman added, “I know nothing about Jeff’s whereabouts.”
Mark Cassman operates a YouTube video blog in which he touts his company, MyDiversifiedIncome.com, and a partnership with an outfit called LGN Prosperity. Joining LGN Prosperity, which markets various Internet marketing programs, one pays $300 and encourages others to join, thus generating commission for earlier members of the network.
Cassman has been on the run for a year with his wife Sarah and their children. Sarah Cassman is not facing charges and is not under threat of prosecution, according to law enforcement officials. Those with information that could lead to the apprehension of Jeff Cassman are encouraged to contact law enforcement officials immediately.