Posting bail is hardly a glamorous affair, but a father-son duo accused in a $33 million tutoring scam paid for their freedom in a way that would make Liz Taylor proud.
Rather than using cash like mere plebs, Jowhar Soultanali, 58, and son Kabir Kassam, 34, opted for the currency of pirates, posting bail Wednesday with a stash of diamonds and rubies, the Sun-Times reports.
The Chicago-area millionaires ponied up diamond and ruby rings and earrings and other property worth $500,000 each to the U.S. District Court. The Sun-Times said the pair also agreed to hand over deeds to five homes, three luxury cars and other valuables.
The two face multiple counts of bribery and mail fraud.
As owners and operators of the suburban Chicago Brilliance Academy Inc. and Babbage Net School Inc. tutoring companies, federal prosecutors say the men made a massive payday by bilking school districts in 19 different states out of millions.
Through their companies, the men allegedly overcharged for sub-standard services to after-school programs meant to bolster achievement in low-income and underperforming schools and falsified performance data, according the federal complaint.
Soultanali and Kassam are also accused of using cash, strip club visits and lavish cruises to bribe public school officials into ignoring poor performances reports of their tutoring companies snapping up more federal and state funds to pay for their services.
The men have yet to enter a plea, but if convicted, they could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of bribery and a maximum of 20 years and a $250,000 fine for each count of mail fraud.