HOUSTON – As the government was laying out its case to keep Julia Poff in custody until her trial, several more allegations came to light. These allegations involved everything from Poff’s rental history to what happened at her last job.
“There is a presumption she would flee and a presumption that she would present a danger to the community,” a federal court judge said in regards to whether Poff should be granted bail. “I feel like she is a dangerous individual and might tamper with witnesses.”
Through an open records request, KPRC obtained an audio recording of Poff’s recent bail hearing. During that hearing a judge ruled Poff, 46, will remain in jail until her trial.
Poff is charged with mailing explosive devices to Governor Greg Abbott, President Barack Obama and the Social Security Administration in October of 2016. Fortunately, none of the devices went off. A member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force testified during the hearing that Governor Abbott himself opened the package, but the other two packages were caught by security screeners.
During this hearing the investigator also testified Poff had been evicted from several homes over the last five years for not paying rent and damaging those properties.
“There has been concrete poured down drains, there has been potatoes put into toilets to stop them up, cereal has been taken and ground into the carpeting to allow bug infestation,” he said.
The investigator added Poff kept getting rental agreements because, “she has friends that will pose as a landlord and call in good references for her.”
This investigator also said that weeks before this hearing, Poff was fired from her job as a part-time paralegal. He said the attorney who owns the practice called the FBI.
“She contacted the FBI because she determined, she had fired Julia after finding out that she was stealing from one of the clients,” he said during questioning by a federal prosecutor.
The investigator said federal agents also interviewed a security guard who worked in the building where the law practice is located.
“(Poff) told the security guard ‘the FBI might be coming to arrest me, don't let them in,’ the security guard denied that she would do that,” he told the court.
There was even more testimony Poff was collecting donations on behalf of man who recently lost his wife after giving birth to twins.
“He was having a tough time so she was going to collect donations to try to build a nursery back for him,” the investigator said.
Court testimony revealed federal agents interviewed the man who was supposed to be the recipient of those donations.
“Did he receive any money?” the prosecutor asked.
“No, sir,” the investigator said.
“Did he know (Poff) was doing this in his wife's memory and for his benefit?” the prosecutor asked.
“No sir, he did not,” the investigator said.
“What was his reaction when he found out?” the prosecutor asked.
“He was rather upset,” the investigator said.
More testimony involved Poff’s bankruptcy filings from 2016. The investigator said Poff had a $300,000 debt discharged when she filed for bankruptcy in 2014. However, when Poff filed for bankruptcy again in 2016, the investigator said a judge dismissed the case and accused her of being a “serial filer,” and abusing the system.
The investigator said when the judge in that case and his staff were interviewed by federal agents, they said Poff was “was very abusive, prone to cursing them.”
Poff is also facing charges of making a false declaration during bankruptcy and fraudulently receiving $5,000 worth of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits.
Poff is scheduled to go on trial in January.