Websites Work Well for People Facing Criminal Prosecution

Here’s your pro tip of the day: If you are arrested and find yourself without bail money, launch a website and have a fundraiser. Maybe you don’t have access to a computer while you’re in jail. Ask your family and/or friends to launch a site for you. Or hire someone to do the job and then use your successful bail-money-raising website to also raise funds to pay the designer.

The family of Anna Gristina, who’s been arrested and charged with being a “Manhattan madam,” has launched a website to raise money for her bail. Housed in Riker’s Island, her family contends that Gristina is being held in disgusting conditions (there are rats and roaches) and that the $2 million the court is asking for is “cruel and unusual.” The site takes an extra tug at the heartstrings by putting a picture of Gristina on the homepage with two cute kids (above).

Gristina is accused of running a brothel out of a New York City apartment for the past 15 years.

Another person facing criminal charges is George Zimmerman, who was (finally) arrested for killing Trayvon Martin. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Zimmerman had launched a website on which he was soliciting donations for legal fees and living expenses. Since then, the website has been shut down. But not before Zimmerman managed to raise $200,000 in donations.

Zimmerman was released on Monday on $150,000 bail. Last week, Zimmerman’s family said they would not be able to afford the $1 million bond the judge proposed. Now, Judge Kenneth Lester says he’ll reconsider the bail figure if the family is found to have had control of the money when they made that claim.

Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara went on Anderson Cooper 360 and said he didn’t know about the money until Wednesday and conceded that if the judge had known about the money, bail would’ve been higher.

Pro tip number two: Make sure your lawyer doesn’t know about your bail fundraising endeavors.