Outrageous Celebrity Bail Bonds

When an average person posts bail, families or employers will hear about it, but the news will rarely go beyond that small circle, depending on the charge. In a few years’ time, the event is often forgotten.

However, when celebrities post bail, almost everyone knows why and when the arrest happened and how high the bond was posted. Rumors and gossip are sure to follow, as well as the occasional embarrassing mug shot posted online. Even one slip-up can result in viral news stories, and some celebrities can never escape their past crimes.

While an arrest means bad press for the celebrity, it can provide the rest of us with some reassurance: things will never be as bad- and the bail cost will likely never be as high-as for the celebrities listed below.

Nicolas Cage: $11,000

While he was filming in New Orleans in 2011, police arrested Nicolas Cage on domestic violence, public drunkenness, and disturbing the peace.

Fortunately for Cage, Duane Chapman-the bail bondsman with eight successful seasons of Dog the Bounty Hunter, his own reality TV show-was a longtime fan. Chapman (or “Dog”) posted bail for Cage the morning after his arrest.

Lindsay Lohan: $200,000

Lindsay Lohan certainly keeps her bail bondsman busy-she’s been arrested on various charges, including multiple DUIs, over the last several years.

In 2010, however, Lohan was arrested in Beverly Hills after she consumed alcohol while wearing a court-mandated SCRAM alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet.

Lohan’s bail was originally posted as $100,000; after Lohan revoked the bail, a judge doubled the amount. Lohan spent 14 days in jail and 23 days in an inpatient rehab center.

Tupac Shakur: $1.4 million

Tupac was involved in several lawsuits, criminal charges, and violent activities during his life, culminating in his infamous murder in 1996.

In 1993, a woman charged Tupac and several other men with sexually assaulting her. Shakur claimed innocence, but he was sentenced to 1.5-to 4.5 years in prison.

In 1995, during his appeal, Shakur was unable to raise the $1.4 million he needed for bail (due in large part to his expensive legal fees). Eventually, though, Suge Knight posted the $1.4 million Shakur needed with the requirement that Tupac create three albums for Knight’s record label, Death Row Records.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn:  $1 million cash, $5 million insurance

Until recently, French national Dominique Strauss-Kahn was once one of the most powerful men in the world: he was the chief of the IMF, or International Monetary Fund, which helps underdeveloped countries create strong, functioning economies.

In May 2011, a New Y ork maid charged Strauss-Kahn with sexual assault. He spent four nights in New Y ork’s infamous Rikers Island prison before being released on a $1 million cash bail with a $5 million insurance bond.

Although the court dropped the charges against Strauss-Kahn after the court uncovered questions about the maid’s reliability as a witness, he referred to the night in question as a “moral failure.” The accusations led to his resignation from the IMF and ruined his chances as the Socialist candidate in the upcoming French elections (François Hollande won instead). Fellow French national Christine Lagarde replaced him as the IMF chief.

Sex scandals have continued to plague Strauss-Kahn, and he’s spent time in jail over a variety of different charges over the past few years. In 2012, he spent one night in jail after authorities brought him in for questioning about a French/Belgian prostitution ring.

Strauss-Kahn’s goddaughter Tristane Banon also accused him of sexually assaulting her in 2003, but since she waited until 2011 to charge him, the charges were dropped: in French law, sexual assault charges can’t be filed if the crime occurred over three years ago.

Ira Judelson, who just published his book The Fixer: The Notorious Life of a Front-Page Bail Bondsman in June 2014, helped negotiate Strauss-Kahn’s bail. Judelson acts as a bail bondsman to the stars and has helped celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Lil’ Wayne post bail.

Bernie Madoff: $10 million

In 2008, New Y ork stockbroker, financier, and investment advisor Bernard Madoff was arrested by the FBI and charged with securities fraud. Madoff eventually confessed to a $50 million Ponzi scheme-probably the biggest fraud in American history. Unsurprisingly, Madoff’s bail was set high, but he posted the $10 million bail in December of 2008.

However, in spite of his wealth, Madoff failed to meet his bail terms: he couldn’t find four people to co-sign on his bond. As a result, he agreed to a curfew and was placed under nightly house arrest, since authorities believed his risk of (and opportunity for) flight were quite high.

In 2009, Madoff pled guilty to 11 federal felonies-everything from money laundering to perjury to mail fraud-and was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum federal sentence. He is currently doing time in the Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) in Butner, North Carolina.

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