Markus/Moss PLLC

Case Summaries

Listed below is a small sample of  the firm’s cases. These summaries are provided for informational purposes only and not as any promise as to the outcome of your case.  The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters listed here.  The results of all cases handled by the firm are not provided and these cases are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by the firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the firm.  Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.  By viewing this page, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the above disclaimer and that you would like to view the information set forth below.


United States v. Dr. Ali Shaygan (pill mill prosecution). One of the Firm’s signature cases, David Oscar Markus led the defense team to another first of its kind victory — not guilty verdicts across the board on 141 counts against a doctor charged in federal court with selling pain medications in a “pill mill” prosecution.  After a month long trial, the jury acquitted on all counts in less than a half a day, and after they announced the verdict, the jury hugged the lawyers and client.  (Here’s the Sun-Sentinel article and the Herald article). Markus was able to show that this was not a pill mill at all. In addition to the acquittal, Markus uncovered prosecutorial misconduct and the federal judge heard two days of testimony from prosecutors and agents, after which the court ordered the government to pay Dr. Shaygan and his lawyers over $600,000.  The Eleventh Circuit reversed the fee award, with several dissenting opinions, which generated a great deal of press including this National Law Journal article.  Since this case, the Firm is regularly consulted on cases involving doctors and pharmacists charged with cases involving pain medication such as oxycodone, oxycontin, hydrocodone, and so on. For example, the Firm recently represented the owner of Robert’s, a pharmacy chain in Florida, and currently represents a number of doctors. Both state authorities and the federal government have cast way too wide a net in the prosecution of doctors and pharmacists who are engaged in legitimate medical practice, and the Firm takes great pride in defending these cases. David recently spoke to other criminal defense lawyers on how to win pill-mill prosecutions in the Fall.  Here’s a picture of Dr. Shaygan and David walking into court during trial:

Dr. Shaygan and David Oscar Markus before trial

Dr. Shaygan and David Oscar Markus before trial

State of Florida v. Gale Fontaine (gambling prosecution). In the first case of its kind to proceed to trial in the State of Florida, Mr. Markus obtained a not guilty verdict in the trial of a businesswoman, Gale Fontaine, who had been charged with running a gambling house. The State had charged Ms. Fontaine and a number of other operators of “senior arcades”, places where senior citizens could play machines for low stakes. The other operators cut deals, but Mr. Markus obtained the first not guilty verdict in this area after a trial that was vigorously prosecuted by the State of Florida and covered daily by the local media. Here is the article covering the verdict, which was on the front page of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.  Since this case, Markus has been the go-to lawyer for advice on how to legally operate arcades in Florida. Below is the picture from the Sentinel which was prominently placed above the fold on the front page.

Fontaine Verdict

After obtaining this not guilty verdict, the Firm has handled a number of other high-profile and high-stakes cases alleging gambling, including the recent internet cafe charges involving over 50 defendants.  David Markus and Margot Moss obtained a dismissal for their client and business owner, Mazen Salloum, before the trial in that matter.

Investigation of Dwight Howard (regarding alleged child abuse).  Houston Rockets star center, Dwight Howard, was investigated for child abuse.  David successfully convinced numerous law enforcement agencies NOT to pursue the case and no charges were ever filed.  Here is the ESPN article covering the closing of the case.

David Markus gets police not to file charges against Dwight Howard

Dwight Howard and David Markus

United States v. Rebecca Gheiler (bank and mortgage fraud prosecution).  In another first of its kind victory, a federal judge in Orlando threw out the case against a developer of real estate after the government rested its case. The defense focused on advice of counsel, arguing that Ms. Gheiler always acted with good intent because she relied on the advice of her lawyer as well as numerous others.  The lawyer testified against Ms. Gheiler, but after a blistering cross-examination, the judge found that he was lying and threw out the case.  The press covered the trial, which occurred right before Hurricane Irma (September 2017).  Here is one article.  And below is a picture of the celebration right outside of the courtroom immediately after the judge dismissed the case.  The trial team was David Markus, Margot Moss, and Todd Yoder.  This not guilty verdict was the third not guilty verdict of 2017 for the firm, an unheard of number of federal trials and acquittals.

David Oscar Markus, Margot Moss, and Todd Yoder celebrating with client Rebecca Gheiler after federal judge throws out case in the middle of trial.

David Oscar Markus, Margot Moss, and Todd Yoder celebrating with client Rebecca Gheiler after federal judge throws out case in the middle of trial.

United States v. Rodrigo Hidalgo (criminal antitrust case). In a total victory for our client, David Oscar Markus along with Mona Markus successfully obtained the dismissal of two indictments against the Vice President of an airline. The charges involved allegations of federal criminal antitrust laws violations by conspiring to fix fuel surcharge prices on air cargo shipments to and from the U.S. The team obtained a dismissal of the first indictment after demonstrating their client’s lack of participation in the conspiratorial meeting. With regard to the second indictment, the team filed a unique motion demonstrating that the VP was simultaneously an employee of another airline which meant that he was covered under the grant of immunity in that airline’s plea agreement. The DOJ fought hard against the motion, filing 9 pleadings in opposition and calling multiple witnesses to testify in support of their position. After a two day evidentiary hearing, the Magistrate Judge wrote a 49-page order granting the motion to dismiss, and the District Court affirmed.

The Hidalgo case was part of a string of pre-trial dismissals that the Firm recently has obtained.  Other cases include United States v. Brian Cooper (CEO of large company charged in two cases discussed below), State v. Rene Pedrayes (executive in RICO case discussed below), United States v. Juan Gomez (money laundering case discussed below), United States v. Mazen Salloum (gambling case discussed above) and State v. Jeffrey Lipman (a pain medication case, which was dismissed pre-trial).  Obtaining a not guilty verdict is rare.  Obtaining a dismissal pre-trial is even rarer.  The creative and aggressive approach of the Firm has led to these unique results .

United States v. Dr. Michael Bahrami (kickback conspiracy). After a three day trial, a federal jury unanimously found Dr. Michael Bahrami not guilty today in Federal Court before Judge Cecilia Altonaga.  Dr. Bahrami was charged in a one count indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to accept kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referring patients to home health agencies.  The jury deliberated for less than an hour before finding him not guilty.

Dr. Bahrami fled Iran when he was 17 years old.  He taught himself English working as a bus boy.  He then put himself through medical school and did his internship at Mt. Sinai hospital.  He is 61 years old and has a successful cardiology practice.  He is married with two small children, 7 and 9 years old.  Throughout the trial, the courtroom was packed with his patients who all support him and say he is the best doctor around.  He, his wife, and his patients wept after the trial. Here’s a link to the Herald Article.

Dr. Michael Bahrami celebrates his acquittal with his wife, and his lawyers, David Oscar Markus and Lauren Doyle

Dr. Michael Bahrami celebrates his acquittal with his wife, and his lawyers, David Oscar Markus and Lauren Doyle

United States v. Francesco Scaglia (criminal antitrust case). This federal criminal antitrust trial involved over a million documents and numerous cooperating witnesses from around the world. Although the trial took 4 weeks, the jury found Mr. Scaglia not guilty in less than 2 hours. Below is a picture of David and the winning trial team after the not guilty verdict.

David Markus, Francesco Scaglia and the trial team after their not guilty verdict

David Markus, Francesco Scaglia and the trial team after their not guilty verdict

United States v. Edwin Rivera (healthcare fraud prosecution). This case involved 288 counts of RICO, Medicaid fraud, mail and wire fraud, and over 500 boxes of discovery. The trial of these 10 defendants lasted 6 weeks. Mr. Markus’ client was found not guilty on all counts. This was the largest prosecution ever in the Southern District of Georgia.

In re Andres Arias (extradition). Former Colombian presidential candidate and former Minister of Agriculture, Andres Felipe Arias, was released on bail after a hearing on his motion to dismiss the extradition complaint in which he contested the Court’s jurisdiction to extradite him.  His argument was that the United States Court did not have jurisdiction to extradite him because there was no active treaty in force between the United States and Colombia.  In support of that position, Dr. Arias submitted a wealth of evidence, including an affidavit of former President Alvaro Uribe, who was present in Court today to support Dr. Arias.  The litigation is ongoing.

David Markus and the rest of the legal team with President Uribe after obtaining Mr. Arias’ release on bond

United States v. Brian Cooper (mail and wire fraud prosecution). In a total victory for our client, David Oscar Markus, Margot Moss, and Mona Markus successfully obtained the dismissal of two indictments against the CEO of Tantus Tobacco. The charges involved allegations of federal wire and mail fraud for depriving various states of money owed pursuant to various settlement agreements. The team obtained a dismissal of the first indictment after demonstrating that the State of Kentucky was not deprived of any money or property. With regard to the second indictment (which was in Mississippi), the team initially filed a motion to transfer, which was granted.  Then, the team filed a motion to dismiss, and the federal government ultimately—and rightfully—dropped the case against Mr. Cooper.

United States v. Vanja Abreu (health care fraud appeal).   David and Mona Markus represented Vanja on appeal (and not at trial).  Vanja was sentenced to 9 years in prison in the infamous American Therapeutic case, which was a $200 million Medicare fraud prosecution. Mona wrote the briefs and argued that Vanja was innocent.  David argued the matter in the 11th Circuit, and the Court agreed and not only threw out Vanja’s conviction but also ordered a judgment of acquittal in a 53-page opinion (access here).   The Miami Herald covered the amazing story. Below is a picture of Vanja after she was released from prison celebrating with David and her family at the Firm’s law office:

Vanja Abreu and her family celebrate the appellate victory after being released

Vanja Abreu and her family celebrate the appellate victory after being released

VICTORY!

VICTORY!

 

United States v. Yuby Ramirez (witness tampering prosecution).   David Markus fought this case for 8 years.  Yuby was sentenced to life and lost her appeal.  That’s when Markus came into the case to represent her on her habeas petition.  After 4 appeals and numerous evidentiary hearings, Markus was successful in obtaining her release from federal prison.  Her life sentence was vacated.  There was a lot of media coverage regarding the case, some of which is detailed here and here. The Miami Herald article covering her actual release from prison is here. This case demonstrates the never-give-up philosophy of the firm, which fought and fought and fought until Yuby was released.

Yuby

United States v. Brian Bailey (Importation of Chinese chemicals prosecution).  A young man was charged with importation of Chinese chemicals and money laundering.  The jury reached a not guilty verdict on both counts.  It was another first-of-its-kind prosecution, which was covered by the Herald and the Daily Business Review. Below is a picture of Brian and his wife, with his lawyers David Markus and Margot Moss after hearing the good news from the jury:

Thumbs up for NOT GUILTY!

Thumbs up for NOT GUILTY!

State of Florida v. Fernando Rodrigues (road rage prosecution). A former marine was facing a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence in Broward county in a case involving a firearm.  The State offered Mr. Rodrigues probation, but he was innocent and wanted a trial.  And a trial is what he received.  Not guilty on all counts in less than an hour of deliberation.  Here’s the Sun-Sentinel article covering the case, and here is a picture right after the verdict of Fernando with his lawyers and family:

 Fernando Victory

Cell-Site Data Case (United States v. Quartavious Davis). David argues appellate cases all around the country, and was asked to handle this en banc oral argument regarding important privacy rights involving the government’s ability to track our cell phones using cell towers.  The N.Y. Times covered the argument here.  The case is currently pending before the United States Supreme Court.

State v. Delmon Young (battery prosecution against former MLB player). David Markus represented Delmon Young in this state prosecution.  Delmon was a former Baltimore Oriole.  The case was dismissed and TMZ covered it here.

MLB investigation into Yasiel Puig.  The Firm handles many high-profile matters that do not make it into court.  This is one in which David Markus was on the team which helped clear Yasiel Puig in an investigation concerning an incident at the Blue Martini bar.

David Markus and Yasiel Puig

David Markus and Yasiel Puig

Biogenesis investigation (Manny Ramirez).  In another high-profile baseball matter, David and Margot assisted Manny Ramirez during the Biogenesis investigation.

United States v. T. Thompson (firearm offense).  David Markus and Lauren Doyle tried this case in federal court before Chief Judge Moore in 2016.  The jury came back NOT GUILTY!

United States v. Juan Gomez (money laundering prosecution). Although the Firm loves trying cases, this is an another example of a Federal case in which we were able to obtain dismissal of all charges prior to trial.  In this case, Juan Gomez and his brother (two contractors in Miami with no prior record) were charged with money laundering over $500,000 in cash.  David Markus, along with co-counsel, were able to demonstrate to the prosecutors that their lead witness was lying to them about what occurred.  The government did the right thing and dismissed shortly before trial was to start.

State of Florida v. Matthew Newton. The Australian star of numerous hits including Underbelly was charged in Miami in two separate cases.  David Markus and Margot Moss successfully persuaded the State to drop the charges in exchange for Newton paying restitution and completing a diversionary program.

With Matthew Newton2

Manuel Soltero v. Swire Development Sales, et al. David Oscar Markus was brought in on the eve of trial to represent one of the defendants in this federal civil RICO and fraud case. David successfully defended the RICO count against his client, obtaining a verdict of no liability. Although the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on the fraud count, David and his co-counsel persuaded the district judge to enter judgment as a matter of law for the defendants and to dismiss the case. David and Mona Markus handled the appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, which resulted in a quick unanimous opinion upholding the dismissal, and a total victory for the client.

United States v. Pedro Infante. Margot Moss obtained a not guilty verdict before Judge Jordan (shortly before he was elevated to the 11th Circuit) where her client was charged in federal court with being the money man in a large conspiracy.

United States v. [COMPANY AND CEO, NAMES WITHHELD] (FDA prosecution). David represented a Florida orange juice producer and its CEO in a federal prosecution involving the FDA.  Eventually, the firm was able to bring about a favorable resolution to a misdemeanor and a small fine.

United States v. Michael Samuda (mortgage fraud prosecution).  Our client was a title attorney accused of creating double HUDs to obtain more money than was needed from lenders. The government charged at least 8 individuals in three separate indictments. All of the attorney’s codefendants and two of his employees cooperated with the government and testified against him. After a two week trial, the jury found him not guilty on four wire fraud counts and hung on the remaining three counts. Ms. Kaplan successfully persuaded the government to dismiss the remaining counts after trial.

State v. Rene Pedrayes (RICO prosecution).  This case involved allegations that Wackenhut executives were involved in a scheme to overbill the county on the Metrorail contract.  The charges included over 800 RICO acts.  Shortly after David Markus and Margot Moss filed this motion, the case was dismissed.  Here’s the Herald article discussing the dismissal and below is a picture of David and Margot taken by the Daily Business Review for its Most Effective Lawyers banquet, where they were honored for their work on this case.

David Markus and Margot Moss

Contempt proceedings re Billy Corben. David Oscar Markus and Margot Moss represented famous film-maker Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys, The U, Raw Deal, Cocaine Cowboys 2, and others).  He was a juror in a state case and was falsely accused of violating the court’s order not allowing the use of social media to discuss the case while it was proceeding.  The defense team was able to show that Corben absolutely did not violate the order and he was not held in contempt.  The judge ended up calling Billy Corben a “model juror” and Markus’s argument “brilliant.” NBC’s coverage here.

Recent successful sentencing hearings: Although the Firm is known for its trial work, it is also brought in to criminal cases to fight for reasonable sentences where the individual has decided to plead guilty. The Firm is known for its creative and unique approaches to sentencing, including the use of videos and PowerPoint presentations.

Many times, the Firm is able to obtain a reasonable sentence because its investigation devastated the prosecution case. For example, a CEO of a publicly traded corporation was charged in a 16-count securities fraud and tax fraud indictment.  That indictment was dismissed after the Firm’s investigation demonstrated that the cooperating witness had child pornography on his computer.  Because of the Firm’s work, the CEO was able to plead to a one count conspiracy charge and was sentenced to 4 years in jail even though his sentencing guidelines were over 25 years in jail.  Read the coverage here.

Other recent sentencing results include:

  • a mortgage fraud defendant being sentenced to home confinement even though the guidelines called for over 2 years in federal prison;
  • a lawyer being sentenced to a year in federal prison in a mortgage fraud case, where the initial guidelines were calculated at close to 17 years in prison (covered by the DBR here);
  • a medicare fraud defendant being sentenced to probation even though the guidelines also called for 2 years in federal prison;
  • a sentence of probation in a tax fraud case in which the client was accused of hiding money in an offshore Swiss account; and
  • the infamously dubbed “Playstation case,” resulted in a sentence of probation for his client where the allegations included violations of OFAC and IEEPA.

United States v. Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela and Miguel Rodriguez-Orejuela. This case involved the high-profile representation of the founders of the Cali Cartel. Mr. Markus represented Gilberto Rodriguez-Orejuela. Novel pre-trial motions concerning the extradition treaty, conditions of confinement, and the ability to represent the clients were being litigated while the defense was preparing for trial. The case ended up being resolved in an unprecedented agreement whereby the Rodriguez brothers were able to secure immunity in both the United States and Colombia for a number of family members, and in addition, were able to ensure that 28 family members were removed from the infamous OFAC list (commonly referred to as the “Clinton list”)

Neither of the Rodriguez brothers are cooperating witnesses with the government. The case was covered all over the world.  Below is the sketch from the final hearing and a picture from the news conference following the plea.

GRO

State v. S.T.  We successfully defended an appeal brought by the State of Florida against a doctor who had received a downward departure at sentencing.   The First District Court of Appeal affirmed the six month sentence, which was a significant reduction from the more than 8 year minimum sentence he otherwise would have received.

State v. J.G.  Client was charged with attempted murder after shooting two people during an altercation outside of a nightclub.  The case was dismissed with prejudice after we demonstrated that the shooting was justified under the Stand Your Ground statute.

In Re Extradition of Ram Nandwani. This case involved Panama’s request for extradition of a man wanted for a $16 million fraud. Mr. Markus filed a motion contesting the extradition, and thereafter the case was dismissed. Prior to that ruling, Markus had successfully argued that Nandwani should be released on bond pending the extradition request even though bond is almost never granted in extradition matters.

United States v. Roderick Carter. The well-publicized G-case, Mr. Carter was charged with two drug counts and a gun count. At his first trial, the jury (headed up with a foreman named Innocente) acquitted Mr. Carter of the two drug counts and hung as to the gun count. At the second trial, the district judge granted Mr. Carter’s motion for mistrial because there were too many Gs on the jury. At the third trial, a fair and impartial jury consisting of all the letters in the alphabet acquitted Mr. Carter of the remaining count. Mr. Markus’ unique motion for mistrial garnered national attention.

DUI Manslaughter Cases.  Markus/Moss has earned a reputation as one of the top firms in these very sad cases.  There are no winners in DUI Manslaughter cases and they are some of the most difficult cases in criminal defense.  In two representative cases, the Firm represented UM student Ivanna Villanueva in her DUI Manslaughter case.  The case was resolved below the 4-year minimum mandatory to 3 years.  In another DUI Manslaughter case, they represented Alejandro Alvarez. That case also was resolved under the harsh 4-year minimum mandatory to 2 years in prison.  Mr. Markus has also represented a number of high-profile clients in DUI cases, such as well-known chef Norman Van Aken and former Heat guard Robert Hite.  Both DUI cases were dismissed.

United States v. Francis Dow. The Government alleged that Ms. Dow, a fight attendant for British West Indies Airways, carried 15 pounds of cocaine into the United States. Although she admitted at the border that the luggage was hers and that she packed it, her defense was that she did not know that the cocaine was placed there by someone else. Most noteworthy was Mr. Markus’ first of its kind opening statement in which he challenged the government to call Ms. Dow as a witness. “Our defense was that the truth was on her side. We explained that she had nothing to hide and would gladly be a witness, even if called by the government.” Ms. Dow testified and the jury acquitted her in 12 minutes. The verdict was recognized as one of the top ten verdicts of the year by the National Law Journal.

United States v. Jessie Aguero, et. al: The well-known Miami cops case, where four City of Miami police officers were accused of obstruction of justice in connection with one Alex Anazco. Mr. Markus and co-counsel were able to demonstrate that Anazco was a career criminal not worthy of belief, after which the case was dismissed in the middle of trial. Mr. Markus also fought the government’s excusal of Gloria Estefan as a juror in this case.

United States v. Jildardo Mendez.  Of the 186 individuals charged with attempting to defraud the United States by falsely procuring a commercial driver’s license, Mendez was one of the few who decided to fight.  On appeal, Markus convinced the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse Mendez’s conviction (in a published decision) for conspiring to defraud the United States.

United States v. Edgar Vallejo.  In this appellate victory (read the opinionhere), the 11th Circuit agreed with us that the trial judge violated the plea agreement by imposing a term of supervised release.  Accordingly, the appellate court ordered that no supervised release be imposed at re-sentencing.

United States v. Larry Green. This was a six week trial involving numerous snitch testimony and wiretaps. There were 7 co-defendants. Markus’ client walked out of the courthouse after the not guilty verdict on all counts. He was facing life in prison.

United States v. Moran Shepkaru. This three week trial involved 10 counts of wire and mail fraud and conspiracy to commit those acts. After the jury acquitted Ms. Shepkaru of all the fraud counts, the judge granted a new trial on the conspiracy count. The government appealed this finding and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the government’s appeal on this ground.

United States v. Garland Hogan. Mr. Markus took over this case at the Supreme Court level after Mr. Hogan, a lawyer, lost at a trial and lost in the Eleventh Circuit. After the case was briefed by Markus, the United States Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Eleventh Circuit and remanded the case for reconsideration. The case involved novel Blakely and Booker issues and was covered by the local media.

United States v. Miguel Martinez-Sotolongo. Mr. Martinez-Sotolongo was charged with obstruction of justice. After a trial, a jury found him not guilty of all counts.

United States v. Latrone Holton. This case was a demonstration of the use of the pre-trial motion. After Mr. Markus filed over 10 pretrial motions and then proceeded to trial, a jury acquitted Mr. Holton of serious federal charges.

United States v. Glenville Manyou. The government claimed that Mr. Manyou was in contempt of court for not testifying against his cousin. The court dismissed the indictment, granting Mr. Markus’ motion that the indictment violated the double jeopardy clause.

United States v. M. N. The Secret Service, posing as 13 year old girls, engaged in a chat with Mr. M.N. over the internet. He was charged with attempting to induce a minor to engage in sex. The government was seeking a lengthy jail sentence. The district court agreed with the defense’s motions for downward departure and sentenced Mr. M.N. to probation with no jail time.

United States v. Edgar Pratt. Mr. Pratt was charged in the Gloria Envias money laundering indictment. After successfully litigating numerous pretrial motions, the government dismissed on the eve of trial. The case was covered in the Miami Daily Business Review. Each of the other defendants was convicted.

United States v. Angel Esteban Rojas. Mr. Rojas was charged with possession of counterfeit U.S. currency. After Mr. Markus successfully litigated a motion to suppress statements, Mr. Rojas proceeded to trial. Despite finding the counterfeit currency in Mr. Rojas’ wallet, the jury acquitted in less than 30 minutes. This was Mr. Markus’ first jury trial and he started his career 1-0.

United States v. Pamela Crouse. Ms. Crouse was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. The firearm at issue was a antique rifle used in World War I by her grandfather. Mr. Markus secured a dismissal of this federal case.

United States v. Danny Tarver. Although Mr. Tarver was the one charged with a crime, the case turned out to be a trial on the accuracy of identifications. The jury agreed with the defense and acquitted Mr. Tarver, even though four police officers “identified” him as the perpetrator.

State v. Dr. W.V. Dr. W.V., a child psychologist, was plucked out of his home one night and charged with capital sexual battery on the word of a very sick woman who claimed that she was violated 10 years ago. After aggressive litigation and investigation, the case was dismissed when we were able to show that Dr. W.V. was innocent of all the charges.

State v. I.D. I.D. was a hospital tech charged with sexual battery.  After depositions, motions, and a full investigation of the case, Markus convinced the State to dismiss all the charges.

  • 22

  • 6


Attorney David Markus