Whopping $35 million bail posted in murder case
A woman accused of arranging the murder of her ex-boyfriend last year posted a record-high $35 million bail Thursday, according to San Mateo County prosecutors who asked for much more at one point.
“We asked for $100 million,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said of the bail for Tiffany Li, 31, who was released Thursday.
Still, Wagstaffe said it’s the highest known bail amount in county history and one of the highest anywhere. That amount includes $4 million in cash and a $31 million property bond.
Under California law, the equity in the property bond has to be worth double that amount, so it consisted of $62 million in real estate, comprised of 18 to 20 properties, Wagstaffe said.
Li comes from a wealthy Chinese family, and it’s unclear how much money she has access to, according to Wagstaffe:
“How much they have total we can’t gauge, but we know it’s certainly $100 million or hundreds of millions. … We know it’s in the nine-figure category at least.”
Li and co-defendants Olivier Adella, 41, and 30-year-old Kaveh Bayat are accused of fatally shooting Keith Green, who was found dead off the side of a Sonoma County road on May 11, 2016. He had gone missing on April 28 after going to meet Li at a restaurant in Millbrae.
Prosecutors said Li had two children with the victim and was afraid of losing a custody battle so she arranged to have her boyfriend, Bayat, kill Green and to have Adella dispose of the body.
Adella and Bayat are in custody on no bail status. Li is the only defendant to file a motion for bail, which prosecutors opposed, according to Wagstaffe.
When the judge decided to grant bail, prosecutors requested $100 million, but the judge went much lower over their objection, Wagstaffe said.
Under the terms of her release, Li will be required to turn over her passport and the passports of her children, stay at least 100 yards from any airport and wear a GPS-monitoring system to ensure she does not leave her home.
“If she leaves that house, it will be known.”
Li’s defense attorney Geoff Carr said he’s never had a client jump bail in 37 years:
“I don’t think Ms. Li is any more of a flight risk than a lot of other people. … The DA has taken the position that it’s more likely she’s going to flee because she has money.”
Carr said that belief is not supported by the evidence.
Li is expected back in court for a pre-trial conference in September, Carr said.