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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A retired probation officer is behind bars, accused of ripping off several of the people he once supervised.

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Ricky Bell was a probation officer who worked for the Department of Corrections for nearly 40 years.

Bell is accused of ripping off eight people he was supervising and was being held on a $33,000 bond.

Bell appeared in court Thursday morning before a bond court judge.

“Judge, $33,000 bond is, I believe, excessive in this case,” his public defender said.

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According to investigators, Bell pulled off a fraud scheme from November of 2012 until March 2014.

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Bell is accused of depositing into his personal account the money his victims would give him to pay court ordered costs.

In all, Bell is accused of taking $3,308.72.

Bell, in court Thursday, asked for a lower bond but prosecutors argued it should remain high.

“I believe these are serious offenses. He did this while a probation officer and over people that were on probation,” the prosecutor said.

Bell is being held in solidarity. His public defender was hoping that would sway the judge to lower his bond.

“Judge as you can see he’s wearing a red jumpsuit which means he’s on 23-hour lockdown. I think this is excessive form of confinement for this man who’s never been charged with a crime before in his life,” his public defender said.

In the end, the judge reduced Bell’s bond to $15,000.

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Ted Scouten