Property heiress raises record-breaking $66 million bail in custody battle murder case

Matt Broomfield
Tiffany Li is accused of killing the father of her two children: San Mateo County Sheriff's Office

The wealthy friends of a California businesswoman accused of murdering the father of her two children have raised the $66 million (£53m) bond she required to free her on bail.

Tiffany Li was freed from jail after he pals up $4 million (£3.2m) in cash and $62 million (£50m) in property as a guarantee she will not flee before her trial

The 31-year-old stands accused of ordering her boyfriend and an accomplice to murder Keith Green, 27, over a custody battle for their two young children.

The couple's daughters were aged two and four, when Kaveh Bayat and Oliver Adella are alleged to have carried out the hit in April last year.

Ms Li, a Chinese-born but naturalised American citizen was living with them in a mansion in an affluent suburb near San Francisco when the killing took place.

She was initially asked to post $35 million (£28m) bail, already the largest sum demanded in the history of San Mateo County.

California law required the amount to be doubled because some of the bail was posted in property instead of money.

While Ms Li's net worth is unknown, she is known to be heir to her mother's fortune which was made in the Chinese construction industry.

Her alleged co-conspirators were unable to raise bail, but the mother of two will now be allowed to live under house arrest. She has surrendered her passport and must wear an electronic tag.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe initially demanded an even higher bail of $100 million (£80m), saying: “If convicted she faces the rest of her life in prison. That’s plenty enough incentive to flee back to her native China.”

But Ms Li's attorney described the bail as "reasonable".

Super-high bails are normally reserved for billionaires suspected of white-collar financial crimes.

Michael Milken, the 'junk bond king', was initially asked to post $250 million (£200m) after his arrest in 1989, while Raj Rajaratnam posted $100 million (£80m) in the largest bail bond actually handed over in American history.

In 2005, brothel owner Kim Freeman was hit with a $1 billion (£800m) bail demand, as the judge feared she was certain to flee if she managed to raise bail.

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