Bail bonds depend on jurisdiction. For instance, seven states and Washington, D.C. do not have bail bonds agents.

Bail bonds depend on jurisdiction. For instance, seven states and Washington, D.C. do not have bail bonds agents.

Bail amounts depend on various factors. The severity of the crime(s) has the largest influence on cost with more serious crimes, like murder and drug possession, requiring more money than stalking or burglary. Other factors include age, criminal history, prior record of not appearing in court, and a flight risk. The more severe the charges and the more likely someone is to not show up, the higher the bail.

The following is a compilation of the 9 highest bail bonds in US history. Getting on this list was no easy task though. Former NASDAQ chairman Bernie Madoff and Canadian businessman Bernard Ebbers each had $10 million bails but did not make the list. So without further ado, let’s begin.

 

9) Suge Knight – $25 million

Who: Co-founder and former CEO of Death Row Records.

Crime: Voluntary manslaughter of Terry Carter in a fatal 2015 hit-and-run.

Outcome: Knight agreed to a plea agreement in which he would be sentenced to 28 years in state prison.

 

8) Michael Sorodsky – $33 million

Who: Bogus Brooklyn doctor specializing in holistic cancer treatments.

Crime: Raping a sedated patient and sexually molesting seven women during breast and gynecological exams.

Outcome: Sorodsky pled guilty to 20 charges and received six years in jail.

 

7) Tiffany Li – $66 million

Who: San Mateo County woman accused of murder.

Crime: Li was charged with murder and conspiring with two other defendants to kill her former boyfriend, Keith Green.

Outcome: TBD. Li’s trial has been delayed while she seeks treatment for stage three breast cancer.

 

6) Xue Lei (Shirley) Ji – $75 million

Who: Vice president of Goldenvale, Inc. and wife of Kening Ma.

Crime: One count of conspiracy, 33 counts of grand theft, six counts of money laundering, and 30 counts of possession of false certificates.

Outcome: Ji and her husband, Kening Ma, agreed to deals after importing motorcycles and ATVs with engines that failed to meet state emissions control laws and then selling them. Ji pled guilty to counts of grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft. She was sentenced to three years misdemeanor probation and to pay restitution to victims.

 

Bail must be reasonable. Thanks to the Eighth Amendment, Americans are protected from excessive bail amounts, as well as cruel and unusual punishments.

Bail must be reasonable. Thanks to the Eighth Amendment, Americans are protected from excessive bail amounts, as well as cruel and unusual punishments.

 

T4) Raj Rajaratnam – $100 million

Who: New York-based hedge fund manager

Crime: Insider trading

Outcome: Rajaratnam was found guilty on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $150 million in civil and criminal penalties.

 

T4) Christopher Williams – $100 million

Who: Memphis-area carjacker

Crime: Williams was charged with second-degree murder, carjacking, aggravated robbery, and using a firearm to commit a felony.

Outcome: Williams was sentenced to life in prison. He currently has four other felony cases pending.

 

3) Kening Ma – $150 million

Who: President of Goldenvale, Inc. and husband of Shirley Ji.

Crime: One count of conspiracy, 33 counts of grand theft, six counts of money laundering, and 30 counts of possession of false certificates.

Outcome: Ma agreed to plead no contest to four counts of felony grand theft. He was ordered to three years felony probation to pay restitution to victims.

 

2) Michael Milken – $250 million

Who: American financier and philanthropist

Crime: 98 counts of racketeering and fraud.

Outcome: Milken pled guilty to six counts of securities and tax violations. He also agreed to pay $1.1 billion across three lawsuits and a lifetime ban from the securities industry. Milken would go on to serve 22 months in prison before being released in 1993.

 

1) Robert Durst – $3 billion

Who: American real estate heir

Crime: Accused of killing and dismembering his neighbor, Morris Black.

Outcome: A Texas appeals court lowered the bail to $450,000 and Durst was released the next day. He ultimately accepted a plea bargain and received five years in prison.