The Bail Project is a non-profit funded by celebrities such as John Legend, Richard Branson, and Danny Glover that pays bail for incarcerated individuals who can’t afford it themselves. The Las Vegas chapter of this nationwide organization has been shut down after it bailed out a serial criminal who tried to murder a waiter less than a week after being released.
In December 2021, The Bail Project posted a $3,000 bond for burglary suspect Rashawn Gaston-Anderson. Six days later, he shot a man named Chengyan Wang, a waiter at Shanghai Taste, in the Chinatown section of Las Vegas. Wang was shot 11 times.
After nearly dying in the hospital, Wang miraculously survived and is suing The Bail Project for releasing Gaston-Anderson given his criminal track record. The victim is also suing Gaston-Anderson and Shanghai Plaza owner US Hui De Real Estate Investment Corp. He is seeking over $15,000 in damages from each defendant.
Wang’s lawyer, Kory Kaplan, reported on his client’s condition, saying, “He’s got scars all over his body. He can’t move his shoulder over a certain height. I don’t know how [the bullets] missed a vital artery.”
In 2018, Gaston-Anderson pled guilty to attempted grand larceny and served 18 months of probation. The following year, he was convicted of felony burglary in New York, and in 2021 was convicted of auto theft in Illinois.
Gaston-Anderson was arrested for pandering and carrying a concealed weapon in November 2021. He was released without bail and told to stay out of trouble, only to be arrested the next day on burglary and theft charges.
Ignoring Gaston-Anderson’s crime-ridden history, The Bail Project paid his $3,000 bail.
Wang is now suing The Bail Project for failing to take into account the criminal’s lengthy record and the danger he posed to the community.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson explained the problems with The Bail Project’s approach to their mission. He told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “Normally when bail is posted, a cash bail, it is a family member or friend who is familiar with the accused.”
“One can say, in a sense, they are vouching for the person,” continued Wolfson. “They are risking their own money. A family member comes forward, a brother, a friend, and if they put up $3,000 and this person doesn’t show up or re-offends, they lose their own money.”
Wolfson addressed Gaston-Anderson’s case directly, saying, “In this case, we have an out-of-state national organization with little or no ties to our community who puts up the cash bail.”
Kaplan also criticized the non-profit for not conducting thorough background checks on the people they chose to bail out. He said, “They’re going around as a bailing agency bailing people out with no or little due diligence.”
The non-profit’s website no longer mentions its Las Vegas office.
Cameron Pipe, a regional director for the organization, reported that Gaston-Anderson’s actions were “absolutely shocking” to the people at The Bail Project. Pipe insisted that every decision made by the nonprofit “goes through the exact same thorough review.”