HONOLULU -- "Dog the Bounty Hunter" reality TV star Duane "Dog" Chapman's bail bonds business owes Hawaii $35,500, the state attorney general said Wednesday.
"Bail bond companies promise to pay us when their clients skip court," state Attorney General Doug Chin said in a statement announcing that his office is suing Da Kine Bail Bonds for forfeitures from 21 criminal cases. "Simply put, if they don't pay we have to hunt down that money."
Chapman and his wife Beth disputed Chin's allegations, saying they already caught most of the fugitives who jumped bail on their reality TV show "Dog the Bounty Hunter." That makes the forfeitures "null and void," the statement said.
The state's lawsuit also names Safety National Casualty Corporation as a defendant. According to the state, the company is the surety obligated to pay if Da Kine defaults. The company, headquartered in St. Louis, didn't immediately return an after-hours phone message seeking comment.
A&E series "Dog the Bounty Hunter" was canceled in 2012. Chapman and his wife later started "Dog and Beth: On the Hunt" which aired on Country Music Television.
The Chapmans, who live in Honolulu but are from Colorado, haven't been served with any formal petition, according to the statement released by a publicist.
"We have actually worked with the state to retrieve millions of dollars in forfeitures from bail bonds companies across the state over the last 15 years without any cost to tax payers," the statement said, "so it's unfortunate that we are being targeted and our names are now in the headlines associated with this petition."
Josh Wisch, a spokesman for Chin, declined to comment on the Chapmans' statement.