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Long IslandCrime

Accused 'Monroe Madam' scrounges for reduced bail

A New York state appeals court has slashed

A New York state appeals court has slashed the bail for Anna Gristina a Monroe mother accused of running a multimillion-dollar Manhattan escort service. (June 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Photo by NEWS 12

The so-called "Monroe Madam" remained in jail Wednesday, a day after her attorney successfully lobbied an appeals court to dramatically lower her bail.

Although Anna Gristina won't have to pony up $2 million to gain temporary freedom from Rikers Island, the reduced amount -- $100,000 cash or $250,000 bond -- is still a hefty sum, and her lawyer told reporters Gristina probably won't be able to make bail until next week.

The 44-year-old mother and alleged prostitution ringleader has been in Rikers since her Feb. 22 arrest.

Prosecutors have accused Gristina of running a prostitution ring out of an apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side for a decade. Lawyers for the married mother of four said she operated a matchmaking company.

Norm Pattis, who represents Gristina, called the accusations against his client a case of "vindictive prosecution" and said prosecutors successfully argued for the initial $2 million bail as part of a larger effort to pressure Gristina to reveal a list of customers that allegedly includes prominent and powerful figures.

That list may include corrupt cops, Pattis wrote in a filing obtained by amNewYork.

"Clearly, the People believe Mrs. Gristina controls access to ... information on corrupt law enforcement officials and court officers," Pattis wrote. "They have, accordingly, shown a willingness to use clandestine, possibly illegal tactics to get it."

A message was left with Pattis on Wednesday. Gristina hired Pattis, who frequently appears as a legal analyst on TV news, in early May.

On April 21, Gristina's family launched a website -- -- to solicit donations. The site accepts PayPal and major credit cards. It explains that donations used for bail will be passed along to two charities if bail is refunded.

Two family members reached Wednesday said they did not know how much money Gristina had raised.

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