If you were ever to fall foul of the law – to the point where you’re looking at a stretch at Her Majesty’s Pleasure – you could find yourself landed with a hefty bill to make bail, which could see you selling off some of your valued assets.
In it for the money
Which is exactly the position Subrata Roy – a successful Indian businessman – found himself in after he was accused of raising 240 billion rupees (about £2.4 billion) in unauthorised bond sales.
Roy denies the charge, arguing his company has complied with an order to refund the money raised from some 30 million depositors, but has spent the last six months in the Tihar prison in New Delhi.
His bail has been set at an eye-watering 96 billion rupees (around £1 billion) and this get out of jail card could see him having to sell off parts of the Sahara Group, which has interests in finance and elevision and also owns a Formula One team.
More likely is that he’ll have to sell off some prized properties in England and USA – including the Grosvenor House in London and both the Plaza and Dream Hotels in New York.
The Sultan of Brunei is said to have tabled and offer of $2 billion (£1.2 billion) for all three.
The thing is, Roy may not be under any immediate pressure as his stay in prison is not what you might expect.
Prison office – cell phone included
Earlier this month a three-judge panel ruled Tihar prison’s conference hall could double as a jail cell and an office for Roy, complete with internet, teleconferencing facilitates and several beds, presumably there in case any of his staff work late – the court also allows Roy to have four members of staff to hand between the hours of 6am and 8pm!
No need for him to conference call in this unorthodox work from home setup.
He was able to arrange such a set up after his lawyers argued he needed to still conduct business in order to get the bail money, and that the company required a “congenial atmosphere” in order to negotiate sales.
It seems Roy has literally become a prisoner to his work in order to get the court its huge pay day.