Will Rockefeller Get Out On Bail?

There was good news and bad news for Clark Rockefeller—I mean Christian Karl Gerhartstreiter—at his indictment this morning in Suffolk Superior Court.

The good news first: His case is being fast-tracked, so his trial is set to begin on March 23, 2009 (that’s really fast, believe it or not, his first option was waiting a full year). Even more important for him, I’d guess, is that the magistrate decided to set bail. If he posts it, he’ll be able to leave jail and wait for his case to begin as a free man.

That brings me to the bad news: Bail was set at $50 million in cash. If he wanted to go the surety route instead (striking a deal with a bail bondsman, for instance), he’ll have to come up with $500 million. That’s right. A half a billion dollars.

“Did I hear you right,” Rockefeller’s stunned attorney, Stephen Hrones, asked when the bail terms were read in court. “He’ll have to be bailed out by the U.S. government.”