According to reports, a California-based bail reform organization backed by celebrities was forced to shut down after being sued for releasing a dangerous criminal who attempted to murder a waiter in a Las Vegas restaurant.
The Bail Project, a non-profit organization, is supported by Danny Glover, John Legend, and Richard Branson. It posted Rashawn Gaston Anderson’s $3,000 bail to release him from jail in December 2021. A week later, Anderson shot waiter Chengyan Wang eleven times at a restaurant in Chinatown.
The announcement of the non-profit’s demise was reported at the beginning of December, with the organization citing restructuring as the cause. Court reports show that Gaston-Anderson has been sentenced to seven to eighteen years in prison. Local reports show Wang is suing The Bail Project for failing to consider the repeat offender’s previous and pending cases.
They include grand larceny, auto theft, carrying a concealed weapon, and multiple burglary charges spanning over four years. Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson explained that when cash bail is posted, itis a family member or close friend of the accused. They’re vouching for the individual.
They are risking their funds, and if they put up $3,000 and the offender fails to appear or re-offends, they will lose their money. In this case, the cash bail is posted by an out-of-state national organization with few or no ties to this community. They operate as a bail bond agency, releasing individuals with no due diligence.
Reports show The Bail Project never registered with Nevada’s Division of Insurance as a bail agent, as required by law, despite posting bail for at least 51 individuals in the Las Vegas area.
Cameron Pipe, a regional director for The Bail Project, described the shooting as shocking and stated that every single decision they make at The Bail Project undergoes the same meticulous review. The organization sounds like a group of people throwing money at problems instead of solving them.