Appeals Court to Consider Reducing 'Millionaire Madam's' Bail

By Alan Neuhauser on May 10, 2012 10:23am 

Anna Gristina, 44, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 15, 2012.
Anna Gristina, 44, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court on March 15, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

NEW YORK — An appeals court agreed Monday to hear whether the $2 million bail set for alleged "Millionaire Madam" Anna Gristina is too high.

Oral arguments will take place June 7 at the Appellate Division, First Department, in the Flatiron District, according to the New York Law Journal. The district attorney's response is due May 23.

Gristina, 44, an upstate soccer mom, was being held on Rikers Island for allegedly running a prostitution ring out of an Upper East Side apartment. She was indicted Feb. 22 on a single count of promoting prostitution.

Twice before, in March and April, Manhattan Supreme Court justices have refused to reduce Gristina's bail. Her lawyers have contended that the high amount "unfairly" penalizes Gristina.

"This is not a situation where you have a drug dealer, a murderer, organized crime," attorney Gary Greenwald argued to Justice Charles Solomon on April 9.

Prosecutors, however, have insisted that Gristina is a flight risk. Gristina, born in Scotland, possesses a British passport. Through her work, they argued, she enjoys a network of wealthy and politically connected contacts around the world. Moreover, on April 9, Gristina allegedly fled to Montreal for four weeks in 2008, after she learned that she was a possible suspect in the prostitution investigation of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

Greenwald countered that no conclusions should be drawn about Gristina's Canada trip, because she wasn't being sought at the time.

This week, however, Gristina apparently ousted Greenwald from her legal team. On Wednesday, she showed up to court with a four-person legal team, which she said she had chosen to represent her.  But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice refused to relieve Greenwald until he holds a hearing.

Anna Gristina's defense lawyer Gary Greenwald leaves Manhattan Supreme Court on March 15, 2012.
Anna Gristina's defense lawyer Gary Greenwald leaves Manhattan Supreme Court on March 15, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Paul Lomax

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