Bail Releases For The Wealthy See “Wave Of Privatization”


Releases of defendants on bail has seen a “wave of privatization,” says the New York Times. A handful of criminal cases involving the famous and the wealthy have involved the hiring of specialized firms that also do private investigations and other security work. The new arrangements are complicated by several questions, including: Whom are the monitors really serving – the judge who devised the terms of the release or the defendant footing the bill? “The client is the court,” said Ed Stroz, a former FBI agent and a co-founder of Stroz Friedberg LLC, which was involved in the monitoring of Bernard Madoff on bail. “This is not a valet service. This is like jail outside.”

When Marc Dreier was arrested in a $400 million fraud case in which he sold fake debt to hedge funds, his lawyer, Gerald Shargel, suggested that his client be released into the custody of a team of private guards, paid for mostly by Dreier's family. “What guards do is put a mechanism in place that reassures the court,” Shargel explained. “There are people on site who are there to make sure that the conditions are enforced.”

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