May 29, 2013 11:42 PM by John Reger

GQ: Why is the bail for a bankrupt 80-year-old man set at $5 million?

Al Moriarty, the Central Coast financier charged with embezzlement and fraud of more than $300 million pleaded not guilty in court today. He also denied the enhancement charges against him. He filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

He's in jail now and hasn't posted the bail set by the San Luis Obispo Superior Court. Tonight's Good Question: Why is the bail for a bankrupt 80-year-old man set at $5 million?

The courts have a schedule that allows a dollar bail amount for various charges. For white collar crimes over $100,000, the schedule calls for $1 million in bail or the amount of loss. $100,000 is the same bail for kidnapping or possessing 4 kilos (about 9 pounds) of illegal drugs.

But the prosecutor can ask the judge for higher bail due to special circumstances. The SLO County District Attorney's Office told me it requested $5 million bail for Moriarty for two reasons: His potential flight risk due to his possible financial means: and the allegation that the loss to investors reaches $5 million.

The judge makes the final decision, but did grant the $5 million bail.

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