Henry T. Nicholas III, the billionaire co-founder of Broadcom Corp., is undergoing treatment at Cliffside while awaiting trial on federal charges of drug distribution and securities fraud. Nicholas pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday and returned to Cliffside, which he first entered May 15 after spending 30 days at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, according to court records.
Prosecutors criticized Cliffside as a $63,000-a-month “gilded cage,” where Nicholas can enjoy a deluxe life that’s off-limits to defendants without his means – a $1.5 billion fortune, according to federal investigators. But U.S. Magistrate Arthur Nakazato rejected the prosecution’s demand that Nicholas be jailed or held in a more modest treatment facility while awaiting trial.
Nakazato released Nicholas on $3.3 million bail under condition that he submit to electronic monitoring, agree to unannounced drug tests and remain at Cliffside.