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January 29, 2000
Lakireddy Jr released on bail
R S Shankar
Despite protests from his lawyer that the bail amount was too high, Vijay Kumar Lakireddy, the younger son of one of the richest landlords in the university city of Berkeley, was allowed on Friday to stay free only on a $ 500,000 bail.
On Tuesday, his father Lakireddy Bali Reddy, was released on a $ 10 million bail after spending 11 days in a jail. Reddy is charged with having sexual relations with a minor girl and violating visa regulations. More charges, including statutory rape, are expected this week.
US Magistrate Wayne Brazil set the bails in both cases. Though he let Reddy be released despite the protests by the government that he could disappear in India, Brazil froze Reddy's assets worth $ 62 million and enforced a night curfew on him.
Reddy owned two restaurants, one of them in Silicon Valley. They are run by his older son, Parsed. They were closed for several days following Reddy's arrest. But Parsed declares they will pick up business "because people come here for good food".
His son, who ran Active Tech Solutions, a company that was supposed to bring in high-tech workers from India, allegedly abetted his father's ring of prostitution by providing immigrants false identities.
For instance, a "couple" arrived in San Francisco about four months ago with their two teenage "daughters". One of the girls died due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Now, officials say the couple were impostors who helped Reddy in his allegedly immoral and illegal activities. The man was supposed to be a hi-tech worker but ended up working in a restaurant owned by Reddy.
On Friday, George Costrels Jr, Lakireddy's attorney, told the court that his client was charged with just one count of illegally importing workers into the United States, and if convicted faced a maximum of five years in prison.
"I frankly think that the recommended bail is too high," he said, urging a $ 100,000 bail. "I don't see any reason why Mr Lakireddy should be treated any differently than anyone else."
Brazil disagreed and also pointed out that the Reddy family's assets were huge.
Both Lakireddy and his father have denied wrongdoing.
Meanwhile a radio and television station reported that federal investigators searched four Reddy properties, and confiscated material used in developing fake identities.
The materials, the report said, included fake passports, a book on how to create a false residency permit and other immigration related records.
Reports say that an affidavit filed with magistrate Brazil said Lakireddy asked his father for permission to have sex with one of three teenage girls allegedly smuggled from India. But his father refused him permission.
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