A lot of figures are getting thrown around regarding expenses in the Dominique Strauss-Kahn criminal case. He's on the hook for $200,000 per month for security, $50,000 a month for the TriBeCa pad where the former International Monetary Fund director is under house arrest, and myriad hefty fees for investigators, public relations, and of course legal representation. Agence France-Press's Sebastian Smith took a stab at breaking down the expenses, and has some sobering figures.
There are the lawyers, of course: Two firms at $1,000 to $1,500 an hour. Then there's newly hired private investigation firm Guidepost Solutions, which Smith reports costs "only a little less than for lawyers." Strauss-Kahn is apparently also contracting with PR fixers TD International, who of course don't have their rates on their Web site, but Smith got Harvey Farr at Farr Marketing Group to tell him "a big [PR] firm could charge between $10,000 and $15,000 per month." That's all in addition to the $1 million cash bail backed by a $5 million bond. Add in incidental costs, like steak dinners from Landmarc, and you've got a very expensive legal predicament. The UK Telegraph put the total cost to Strauss-Kahn at $3 million, which actually seems fairly low considering all his new expenses.
Strauss-Kahn faces 25 years in prison for seven criminal counts, including attempted rape. That probably makes it worthwhile to him and wife Anne Sinclair to dip into their considerable fortune for the defense. Forbes last week estimated their combined worth at more than $100 million. But in the end, the jury will rule the way it rules, and while piles of money can buy you the best defense possible, they can't guarantee freedom.