Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thanks South Florida Lawyer!

Well, after a month of working around the clock, I'm back. It was almost impossible to blog during the trial, so thankfully South Florida Lawyer agreed to step in. He was fantastic and kept the blog alive. Thanks! You are welcome here anytime!

So let's get right back to it. The new courthouse is busy with lots of trials. (As for trying a case in the new courthouse, I thought the technology was great and the layout of the courtroom wasn't as bas as I thought it would be. I think the downsides of the courthouse so far are: 1) no cafeteria and 2) cramped security checkpoint to get in.)

The highest profile case is USA v. Helio Castroneves before Judge Graham. Jay Weaver had a Sunday report in the paper here:

Helio Castroneves was born with a car-racing gene.
He sped from go-karting to Formula Three to IndyCar, his big break coming in late 1999 when Penske Racing signed him. He won the Indy 500 two years straight and finished second in 2003 -- milestones for the celebrated race.
''He had the ability to do things that human beings can only dream of,'' his powerhouse lawyer, Roy Black, told a jury in Miami earlier this month. ``This has taken him to the heights of athletic stardom.''
Now the Brazilian driver's soaring career, fueled by the fame of also winning the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars, is at risk of crashing in the most unlikely place: a federal courtroom. Castroneves, 33, stands accused along with his sister and business manager, Katiucia Castroneves, and his Michigan sports lawyer, Alan R. Miller, of cheating the IRS.
In a seven-count indictment, Castroneves is charged with conspiring with them to evade paying taxes on more than $5 million from a Penske contract dating back a decade. Ironically, Castroneves, who owns a Coral Gables mansion decorated with his trophies, has yet to receive any of that income from Penske.
But that's the point of the U.S. government's case against the trio, because prosecutors say Castroneves should have already paid taxes on that income -- regardless of whether he has actually received it. The three defendants are accused of masterminding a tax dodge across two continents so that Castroneves wouldn't ever have to pay the IRS -- especially if he were to move to a tax haven such as Monaco for retirement.
How the 12-person jury will view the charges amid a crumbling economy remains to be seen. But for Castroneves -- a fun-loving guy known for leading cheers with racing fans -- the outcome could not be more serious.

Next up is the penalty phase in the case of the killing of the Escobedo family along Florida's Turnpike. Here's Vanessa Blum's article:

The prospect of history will hang over a West Palm Beach federal courtroom Monday as 12 jurors weigh whether two men should receive the death penalty for executing a family of four along Florida's Turnpike.The same jury found Daniel Troya and Ricardo Sanchez Jr. guilty on March 5 of armed carjacking resulting in the deaths of Luis Escobedo, 28; his wife, Yessica Guerrero Escobedo, 25; and their sons, Luis Julian, 4, and Luis Damian, 3.No federal defendant in Florida has been condemned to die since Congress reauthorized capital punishment in 1988. However, this case could be different because the deaths of young children tend to sway juries, attorneys said.

And of course, here's the obligatory Helio picture, with Julianne of course.


South Florida Lawyers said...

You are most welcome -- thanks for inviting me.


the trialmaster said...

The Trialmaster sends his congrats on an astounding victory. It was almost "trialmasterques" . It always good to win when the other side does not play by the rules.

fake fred moreno said...

Meeeester Markus!!! Be careful when complaining about the layout of the new courthouse. I participated in the design you know.

Anonymous said...

Hey- what happened in the hearing before Gold today? Anyone held in contempt?

Anonymous said...

Chick's almost hot, but he looks gay. Stop with the stupid pictures.

Anonymous said...

take those prosecutors down.

Anonymous said...

just from what I read, this is an easy NOT GUILTY from a miami jury. the guy will pay his taxes on the money. thats enough for a NOT GULITY: It is ironic or not that the IRS brings these cases at tax time to scare others. So to them, it doesnt matter whether they win or lose, they just scare the rest of us to bring similar cases with no merit.

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Anonymous said...

this should have never been a criminal case. there was no administrative or civil attempt to collect taxes allegedly owed? instead, because it involves an attorney and a famous race car driver, let's grab headlines by charging criminally. if roy wins, this will be yet another HUGE loss and black eye for the US Atty and his office. Isn't there a pattern of horribly bad judgment/supervision emerging: Libery 6 "terrorists" for the third time, recording lawyers, Marcus acquittal, recent WPB acquittal, Helio acquittal, and on and on and on?????

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