After a nearly two-month trial and two days of closing arguments, a federal jury on Wednesday finally began deciding whether a Palm Beach County couple and their business partner set out to bilk thousands of investors out of $80 million in a Virtual Concierge scheme operated out of plush offices west of Jupiter.
After less than two hours of deliberation, the jury of 10 women and two men signaled they are in for the long haul.
With dozens of charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering to weigh against Joseph Signore, his estranged wife, Laura Grande-Signore, and their business partner, Paul Schumack, the jurors sent out a note, indicating that they don’t expect to reach a verdict Thursday.
Instead, they told U.S. District Judge Daniel Hurley, they will deliberate Thursday, take Friday off and continue their work Monday.
Their scheduling announcement came as attorneys representing the three continued to insist their clients had done nothing wrong. Hurley rejected the attorneys’ pleas to throw out the charges that had already been sent to the jury.
“When you add the constellation of facts together, isn’t that enough to send to the jury for a decision?” Hurley asked Schumack’s attorney rhetorically, rejecting his request for a judgment of acquittal.
The defense attorneys spent most of the day trying to persuade jurors that federal prosecutors had woven together a disparate array of circumstantial evidence in hopes of proving the three never intended to produce the electronic kiosks much less install them in sports arenas, hotels, casinos, hospitals or other venues.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
"Virtual Concierge" case to jury
It's before Judge Hurley in West Palm Beach. From the PBPost: