So how high a bail would it take to ensure a Texas man — accused of being the leader of an illegal international gambling operation — returns to court?
A federal magistrate on Friday decided $2.5 million was sufficient — as long as the bail is posted all in cash.
“I believe you have money stashed away,” U.S. Magistrate Shon Erwin told the defendant, Bartice “Luke” King, at the conclusion of a detention hearing in Oklahoma City federal court.
King, 42, also was ordered not to leave his home in Houston, if he is released, except for medical reasons or to go to court.
Prosecutors are challenging the decision and have asked another judge to block the release.
They contend King is a flight risk and should be denied bail.
King is accused of being the leader of an illegal bookmaking business known as Legendz Sports.
He, his wife and 32 other people were indicted in March.
Eight of the defendants are from Oklahoma.
He was arrested in April after the indictment was made public and he flew back to Houston from Costa Rica.
“Legendz Sports solicited millions of illegal bets totaling over … one billion dollars on sports and sporting events from gamblers in the United States, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” grand jurors alleged in the indictment.
The operation actually may have taken in as much as $5 billion, according to testimony during the detention hearing Friday.
One government witness claimed King and Legendz Sports made more than $670 million off illegal gambling in just one year, FBI Special Agent Jeff Bowles testified.
King owns homes in both Panama, where Legendz Sports has a call center, and in Costa Rica, the agent testified.
The agent described one residence in Costa Rica as being next to the home of the Costa Rican president.
The FBI agent told the judge King's wife and seven children had airline tickets to travel to Costa Rica as soon as the school year is over.
King's defense attorney, Nathan Mays, of Houston, said the tickets were purchased for a vacation.
The FBI suspects King has cash stashed with associates across the country. The agent who testified Friday said investigators seized more than $1 million hidden in storage units in Florida and Texas during searches in April.
“We will never get it all,” Bowles said.