Former sheriff's candidate denies using alias

Records suggest Daniel Goldberg Sr. registered to vote as 'Daniel Zbras'

Steve Garrison

FARMINGTON — It appears that former San Juan County sheriff's candidate Daniel Goldberg Sr. operated a local bail bondsman business and registered as a voter in Florida using an alias, according to records obtained by The Daily Times.

The 55-year-old Goldberg — who is facing fraud charges based on allegations he extorted a client — denied in a telephone interview on Tuesday that he has ever used the alias "Daniel Zbras."

"I have no idea what you are talking about," he said. Goldberg, in court documents, also has denied the fraud charges.

However, a former business associate of Goldberg, Andy Howell of Howell Bonding, said that the bail recovery agent owned a phone and several credit cards under the name Daniel Zbras.

Daniel Zbras is also listed as a registered Democrat in Broward County, Fla., according  to records from the Florida Department of State. The address on the voter registration is apartment B at 2812 SW 65th Ave. in Miramar, Fla. According to a background check, Goldberg formerly lived in apartment A4 at the same address. Goldberg and Zbras also share the same birth date: Feb. 12, 1960.

Under Florida law, submitting false voter registration information is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Goldberg was first accused of using the alias Daniel Zbras in August 2008 by local attorney Victor Titus, according to records from the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

Titus filed a 481-page complaint against Goldberg with the superintendent of insurance, the state agency responsible for regulating the bail bondsman industry, claiming that Goldberg was acting as a bondsman without a license. Goldberg says he is a bail recovery agent and isn't required to be licensed.

That complaint included documents that purport to show, among other things, that Goldberg owned at least one credit card in the name of Daniel Zbras. He also allegedly used the name Daniel Zbras to register a subscription with research company Lexis Nexis, according to the documents.

The Lexis Nexis document, dated July 26, 2006, is signed by Daniel Zbras, operator of American Lenders Service Co. However, the phone number and address listed on the application for Zbras actually belong to Goldberg, according to court and county records.

Titus also included a letter sent by American Express to Daniel Zbras at 3501 E. Main St. in Farmington on April 24, 2006. The letter states that the spending limit was modified for an American Express credit card registered to Danny Goldberg.

Titus confirmed Tuesday he sent the complaint to the superintendent of insurance's office on behalf of a former client. He said he could not remember how he obtained the documents provided in the complaint.

Daniel Zbras is also listed in two separate phone books as a resident at 5108 Bellflower Circle in Farmington. According to San Juan County Assessor's Office website, the property is owned by Daniel Goldberg.

Howell, Goldberg's former associate, said he worked with Goldberg for less than a year when he first obtained his bail bondsman license. Howell said he stopped working with Goldberg because Goldberg extorted clients.

"The same thing he is being arrested for," Howell said. "Ripping people off, taking their money."

Goldberg said Howell has an ax to grind.

"Andy Howell used to work for me," Goldberg said. "He stole money from me. I sued him and he lied in court."

According to court records, Goldberg successfully sued Howell in March 2008 for $7,578 in unpaid debts.

Goldberg also has sued the San Juan County Sheriff's Office and several of its employees, including Sheriff Ken Christesen. Goldberg ran against incumbent Christesen in the Republican primaries in spring 2014. He filed a lawsuit on May 22, 2014, claiming the sheriff and his supporters used their authority as law enforcement officers to slander and libel him.

Goldberg was charged July 24 in Aztec Magistrate Court with two counts of fourth-degree felony fraud on allegations he extorted a woman who secured a surety bond through Goldberg Bail Bond in September.

He was charged Aug. 31 with 11 more felony offenses, as well as several misdemeanors, after several more people came forward claiming fraud and extortion.

Goldberg has claimed the cases, both of which were investigated by detectives from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office, are retaliation for his lawsuit.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644. 

Daniel Goldberg Sr.