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Daniel LUGO

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Extortion
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: May 25, 1995
Date of arrest: June 3, 1995
Date of birth: April 6, 1963
Victims profile: Frank Griga, 33, and his girlfriend Krisztina Furton, 23
Method of murder: Poisoning (Rompun, a horse tranquilizer)
Location: Dade County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on July 17, 1998
 
 

 
 

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Pain & Gain
By Pete Collins - Miami New Times

 
 

 

Florida Supreme Court

 

opinion SC93994

opinion SC06-1532

 
 

 
 

The Brutal Crimes of the Sun Gym Gang

By Denise Noe - TruTV.com

April 28, 2013

In October 1994, Daniel Lugo proposed to Noel Doorbal, Carl Weekes, and Stephenson Pierre that they kidnap Marc Schiller. All those meeting knew each other through the Sun Gym. Lugo claimed Schiller had stolen from him and gym member Jorge Delgado. The group agreed to kidnap Schiller.

In 1991, Delgado’s wife, Linda, worked in Schiller’s accounting office. She begged Schiller to help Delgado. Schiller offered him a job. Delgado and Schiller became friends, eventually starting a mortgage company together.

Frequent guests at Schiller’s home, the Delgados got to know Schiller’s wife, Diana, and children David and Stephanie. Schiller trusted Delgado with Schiller’s home security code.

Delgado introduced Lugo to Schiller. Schiller disliked Lugo. In Schiller’s memoirs, Pain and Gain – The Untold True Story, he recalls that Lugo once talked “of frauds he had committed and started making comments insinuating that we should do something similar.” Schiller told Delgado he did not want their relations continuing unless Delgado split from Lugo. Delgado refused. Schiller pulled out of the mortgage business. Schiller wrote, “I decided to take a ten-thousand-dollar loss and give a little extra to him so that he would not harbor ill feelings.” This strategy was to prove a dramatic failure.

On November 15, 1994, Doorbal, Weekes, and Mario Sanchez, whom the first two men had recruited, grabbed Schiller as he walked to his car. “What do you want?” Schiller asked.

“You,” someone replied.

They hustled him into a van. Schiller’s ankles were shackled, he was handcuffed, and duct tape was wound around his head.

Someone asked, “How come you’re allowed to have so much money while we have so little?” As Pete Collins reported in the Miami New Times, Schiller “was in no mood” to debate “theories of American capitalism. He kept silent.”

The van stopped at Delgado’s rented warehouse. Schiller was bound to a chair. Someone asked if he wanted water. His throat parched, Schiller answered, “Yes.” Someone threw water in his face – then laughed.

Captors buzzed him with tasers, slugged him, and burned him with his lighter. He was left alone, bound and in a box. His bladder filled and there was no way to get to a restroom. Schiller writes, “I urinated as I lay there on the box, soaking my pants in the process and adding to the misery I already felt.”

A captor, whose voice Schiller recognized as Lugo’s, threatened to bring Schiller’s wife and children to the warehouse. His captors ordered him to call his wife and tell her to take the kids with her to her native Colombia.

She did.

When his captors demanded he confirm his house alarm code and the locations of his money, he realized Delgado was involved. A captor demanded he sign over assets. Schiller repeatedly signed papers he could not see. The documents were notarized by Sun Gym owner John Mese.

Schiller had been captive three weeks when the gang decided to murder Schiller by faking a drunk driving crash. On December 15, 1994, they forced Schiller to drink. Lugo drove Schiller’s car into a utility pole. Gang members shoved Schiller into the driver’s seat, poured gasoline over the car and set it ablaze.

After the group backed away and got into another car, Schiller cheated the fate laid out for him; he got up and ran from of the burning vehicle.

They ran him over – twice. Convinced Schiller was dead, they sped from the scene.

Schiller, however, survived and was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital where doctors operated to remove his spleen. When Schiller regained consciousness, a surgeon said he had been in an accident. Schiller replied he had been kidnapped and tortured. As Collins notes, Schiller’s “credibility was undermined because he’d entered the hospital as a suspected DUI case.”

Schiller called lawyer Gene Rosen. After hearing Schiller’s story, Rosen advised Schiller to contact private investigator Ed Du Bois. On December 16, 1994, Schiller called Du Bois, who asked Schiller to write down everything he remembered and send relevant documents.

Schiller called his sister. He was taken to Staten Island University Hospital. On Christmas Eve 1994, he moved into his sister’s Long Island home.

In January 1995, the gang moved into Marc Schiller’s house that had been signed over to a Bahamian company Lugo set up called D&J International. The gang had amassed about $2.1 million in cash, real estate, credit card charges, and goods. Lugo told neighbors he and his roommates were U.S. security officers.

Still using crutches, Schiller flew to Colombia to join his wife and children. Du Bois received Schiller’s written account of his captivity and copies of documents he had been forced to sign.

A name on those documents startled Du Bois who was acquainted with notary John Mese.

Du Bois met with Mese and showed him Schiller’s letter. “Sounds like this guy had a rough time,” Mese commented. Du Bois asked if Mese knew Delgado and Lugo. Mese said he did. Du Bois showed him copies of documents that he had notarized that had transferred Schiller’s assets. Du Bois claimed he could not recall the circumstances under which he notarized them. He agreed to set up a meeting with Lugo and Delgado.

That meeting took place on February 13, 1995. Du Bois came with bodyguard Ed Seibert. Delgado, but not Lugo, came to Mese’s office. Delgado said, “This is all over a business deal.”

Du Bois asked incredulously, “Is it customary in your business deals to kidnap someone, keep them hostage for a month, beat them, torture them, try to kill them, and blow them up?”

“I’m not going to comment,” Delgado replied.

A third meeting took place. Delgado said, “We’re going to give you Schiller’s money back, the one million dollars.” There was a condition: Schiller must sign a document stating he would never tell the story to anyone again – including police. Du Bois said he would discuss it with Schiller.

Schiller was destitute but reluctant to let his torturers get off scot-free. He also feared they were dangerous to others. Schiller and Du Bois discussed the offer with an attorney, who said that such an agreement of silence would be legally unenforceable – and would amount to a confession. Schiller and Du Bois decided to play along.

The Sun Gym gang found lawyer Joel Greenberg, who drew up a contract. Collins reports, “The days dragged on and drafts of the contract were faxed between the two camps. Schiller agreed to every new revision, but there was no money coming in.”

Schiller filed a challenge to the deed D&J International held to his house. The Sun Gym gang cleared everything they could out of the house, leaving it empty. The goods were taken to the warehouse in which Schiller had been held captive.

Du Bois realized that the offer to return Schiller’s money was a stalling tactic. It was well past time to go to the police.

Du Bois contacted Metro-Dade homicide Captain Al Harper who contacted Strategic Investigations Division (SID). SID Sergeant Gary Porterfield informed Du Bois and Schiller that the case had been referred to the robbery bureau. Du Bois was horrified because he believed the case needed more than that bureau could provide.

Porterfield escorted Schiller and Du Bois to that bureau. Du Bois saw a cop smirking and softly clapping. Du Bois asked a secretary about this. She answered, “SID called over here this morning and said we should expect an Academy Award-winning performance and story from Mr. Schiller today.”

Sergeant Jim Maier and Detective Iris Deegan interviewed Schiller. He pleaded, “Follow up on Du Bois’s leads. These are dangerous people. Other people could be harmed.” Later, he asked, “Do you think I’m making this whole thing up?”

Deegan answered, “Yeah, we think you’re making it up.”

Nevertheless, Deegan investigated. Collins writes, “Deegan paid a visit to Schiller’s home in Old Cutler Cove. The house appeared abandoned; indeed the Sun Gym gang had emptied it weeks before. When Deegan interviewed Schiller’s neighbors, they identified Lugo from a police photo line-up. Yes, he was a G-man, they said, Yes, they’d accepted UPS deliveries for him, packages addressed to Marc Schiller. Yes, they recalled, Schiller and his family had disappeared sometime before the previous Thanksgiving.”

No arrests were made.

Doorbal learned of phone-sex-line millionaire Frank Griga and his girlfriend, Krisztina Furton. Doorbal proposed to Lugo that this couple be kidnapped and Griga’s money stolen.

The couple accepted Doorbal’s invitation to come to his apartment, ostensibly to sign for an investment. Lugo was also there.

Doorbal tried to subdue Griga, triggering a vicious fistfight. Furton screamed. Lugo grabbed her and injected her with the horse tranquilizer Rompun.

Doorbal put Griga in a headlock. Griga lost consciousness. Lugo and Doorbal planned to haul Griga off to the warehouse and threaten him into signing over his money. Much to their chagrin, they realized before they could do it that Griga was dying.

They interrogated Furton for the code to enter Griga’s home. She answered and fell silent.

Another conspirator, corrections officer John Raimondo, arrived.

Lugo drove to Griga’s home and attempted to get inside with the code Furton had given him. It did not work. Lugo called Doorbal who said Furton was dead. Lugo returned to Doorbal’s apartment where he asked Delgado to return the next morning with a truck.

The next morning, the group loaded two corpses into the truck. They drove to the warehouse. Using a hatchet and chainsaw, Lugo and Doorbal dismembered the bodies.

On May 28, 1995, Lugo, Doorbal and a third man, who did not know that torsos and limbs were in the metal drums, took them to a remote area in Dade County. Another drum containing heads, hands, and feet was deposited in the Everglades. Lugo then traveled to The Bahamas. Police arrested him there in June 1995. Doorbal, Raimondo, and Mese were also arrested.

Lugo was convicted of many crimes including two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Doorbal was convicted of two first-degree murders and sentenced to death. Mese was convicted of multiple counts including conspiracy to commit racketeering and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment. Raimondo was convicted of crimes including attempted extortion and sentenced to eight years imprisonment. Delgado testified for the state; in exchange, his crimes were plea-bargained down to 15 years for the murders of Griga and Furton and five years for Schiller’s attempted murder.

As Schiller left the courthouse after testifying against his torturers, federal agents arrested him for Medicare fraud. On March 17, 1999, Schiller pleaded guilty to one count of fraud. He was sentenced to 46 months imprisonment. Released in 2001, Schiller claims he was innocent but pleaded guilty because he “had no fight” left.

The movie Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, opens April 26, 2013. Its form as an action-comedy has angered some. Frank Griga’s sister derides the film’s sympathetic depiction of the gang as ambitious bunglers as “ridiculous.” Instead of separate characters for Schiller and Griga, a composite victim named “Victor Kershaw” is depicted. He is first seen surrounded by bikini-clad beauties. Schiller asserts he was a “homebody” with little in common with Kershaw although Griga, who made his fortune in the phone-sex business, may have resembled the womanizing Kershaw.

While there may be comic aspects to the bungling of the Sun Gym Gang, their heinous crimes of kidnapping, torture, and murder are anything but humorous.


Defendants

  • Daniel Lugo – convicted, sentenced to death (2 death sentences)

  • Adrian Noel Doorbal – convicted, sentenced to death (2 death sentences)

  • John Carl Mese – convicted, sentenced to 56 years (died in prison)

  • Jorge Delgado – pled guilty, sentenced to 13 years in prison, released 11/27/2002

  • Carl Weekes – convicted, sentenced to 10 years in prison, released 5/15/2002

  • Stevenson Pierre – convicted, sentenced to 7 years in prison, released 5/24/2001

  • John Raimondo – pled guilty (to kidnapping), sentenced to 8 years in prison, released 2/27/2002


Three Men Found Guilty In Double Murder

By Luisa Yanez Miami Bureau - Sun-Sentinel.com

May 6, 1998

A court clerk read a litany of guilty verdicts on Tuesday to the leader of a gang of extortionists whose greedy plot ended in one of South Florida's most gruesome double murders.

By the time the Miami-Dade County clerk caught her breath, Daniel Lugo had been found guilty of 40 counts, ranging from murder to kidnapping to extortion.

Lugo, 35, a former personal trainer, sat stone-faced.

Two co-defendants, Adrian Doorbal, 23, and John Carl Mese, 59, heard a similar string of guilty verdicts from a second jury.

Lugo and Doorbal, body-building buddies who frequented Sun Gym in Miami Lakes, now face the electric chair.

Mese, a North Miami accountant who prosecutors said handled the paperwork in the gang's scheme to extort money from rich victims, faces life in prison.

Lead prosecutor Gail Levine refused to comment until after Circuit Judge Alex Ferrer decides the fate of the defendants. Sentencing is set for May 26.

``We think we have a very good case for appeal,'' said Ronald Guralnick, Lugo's attorney.

Two juries convicted all three men of a slew of charges in connection with the 1995 murder, kidnapping and mutilation death of Frank Griga, 33, who ran a $5 million phone sex empire, and his girlfriend, Krisztina Furton, 23, a former exotic dancer.

The Hungarian couple lived in a $1 million Golden Beach condominium in north Miami-Dade County. They ended up decapitated, their bodies stuffed into 55-gallon oil drums, which were sealed with a torch and dumped in a canal at the edge of the Florida Everglades. Their severed heads were later found in Broward County off Interstate 75.

The three were also convicted of the attempted murder and kidnapping of another wealthy victim, Marcelo Schiller, an Argentine businessman. A gang of eight held Schiller hostage for weeks in a warehouse in 1994, forcing him to sign over $1.26 million. Gang members spent the money on cars, Rolexes and women, prosecutors said. Schiller survived the attack and testified against the defendants.

Four of the eight co-conspirators have turned state witness in exchange for reduced sentences; another awaits trial. The first-degree murder conviction of Mese, who did not take part in the murders according to witness testimony, surprised his attorney, Bruce Fleischer.

He blamed it on his client's joint trial with Doorbal.

The scheme that ended in violence began three years ago, when Lugo made contact with Griga about a business deal.

Instead, the couple was ambushed and kidnapped. Furton was injected with a horse tranquilizer. Griga was eventually bludgeoned to death, but not before he signed over property to the group, prosecutors said.

Miami-Dade County police cracked the double murder mystery while investigating the abduction of Schiller.


‘Pain & Gain,’ a movie based on South Florida murders, is a painful reminder to victims’ families

Victims’ relatives say action-comedy ‘Pain & Gain’ starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson trivializes a Dade couple’s murder.

By David Ovalle - MiamiHerald.com

February 22, 2013

Their dark schemes, hatched amid steroids and dumbbells, strip clubs and exotic women, ended in spasms of shocking violence.

A millionaire businessman stripped of his fortune, tortured for weeks and left for dead in a burning car wreck. And a wealthy Hungarian couple murdered, their bodies hacked up and scattered in drums and buckets across South Florida.

The bizarre and bloody saga of the Miami Lakes Sun Gym crew was always the stuff of Hollywood drama — and 15 years after Daniel Lugo and Adrian Noel Doorbal were sent to Death Row, their story will be rekindled in the upcoming film Pain & Gain.

Prosecutors, former detectives and the sister of one of the victims, however, are concerned that the movie — the tagline: “Their American Dream is Bigger than Yours” — will portray the killers in a sympathetic light, and play down the brutality of the murders.

“I think it’s ridiculous. It’s horrible what happened to them,” said Zsuzsanna Griga, the sister of Frank Griga, murdered along with his girlfriend, Krisztina Furton. “I don’t want the American public to be sympathetic to the killers.”

‘A mockery’

Said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle: “What Hollywood is going to do Hollywood is going to do. My thoughts are with the victims. To trivialize this horrible tale of torture and death makes a mockery out of their lives and the justice system.”

Billed as an action-comedy, Pain & Gain opens in April and stars Mark Wahlberg as Lugo, Anthony Mackie as Doorbal and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Paul Doyle, an apparent fictional composite character based on several members of the murderous crew.

The director: Michael Bay, of Transformers and Armageddon fame.

The “true story” trailer certainly strikes a dark comedic tone. It features a fiery explosion, barreling cars, SWAT police jumping out of an armored vehicle and Wahlberg’s Lugo character agonizing about his dead-end life as a fitness trainer.

There was nothing light-hearted about the crimes they committed.

Over a series of meetings in 1994, Lugo, Doorbal and Jorge Delgado, who pounded weights together at the Sun Gym and frequented strip clubs, hatched a plan to kidnap and extort Marc Schiller, owner of West Miami-Dade Schlotzsky’s deli.

Schiller had once employed Delgado as a business assistant. Also in on the plan: John Carl Mese, the gym’s owner, a former bodybuilder and Miami Shores accountant.

Their attempts to kidnap Schiller were certainly bumbling — once, they laid across blankets on Schiller’s lawn, waiting to whisk him away, but got spooked by a barking dog.

Finally, they kidnapped Schiller outside his deli.

During a month in captivity at a warehouse, they tortured him, sometimes with lighters, until he signed over his posh South Miami house, a $2 million life insurance policy and $1.2 million in investments.

Forced by his kidnappers, Schiller also ordered his wife and children to go to Colombia.

Staged crash

The gang moved into Schiller’s house, drained his bank accounts and finally plied him with liquor and staged a 3 a.m. crash into a tree, also running him over.

But Schiller survived.

He did not notify police right away, however. He called his lawyer, who recommended private investigator Ed Du Bois III (played by Ed Harris in the movie). They went to work trying to negotiate the return of $1.26 million.

Ultimately, four months after Schiller left captivity, Du Bois — who has a cameo in the movie — notified skeptical Miami-Dade police. The investigation went nowhere.

The Sun Gym crew’s next target: Frank Griga, 33, a Hungarian immigrant who had earned his fortune in the 900-phone sex business. A lover of fast cars and boats, he lived in Golden Beach with his 23-year-old girlfriend.

On the pretense of proposing a business deal, Lugo and Doorbal lured the couple to Miami Lakes.

“My brother. He didn’t know how to say no,” said Zsuzsanna Griga, who talked to her brother every day by telephone from Hungary.

“He was a very nice guy, a very simple guy who helped everyone.”

Inside Doorbal’s apartment, the kidnapping went horribly awry. Griga fought back and was beaten to death. Furton was drugged, fatally, with horse tranquilizers.

The bodies were whisked away to the same warehouse where Schiller had been held captive.

A trip was made to Home Depot to buy dust masks, rags, a chain saw and a hatchet. The bodies were dismembered. Eventually, their body parts were found in drums and buckets discarded along rural highways in Dade and Broward.

By then, with Griga and Furton reported missing, Miami-Dade homicide detectives had zeroed in on the group and had made arrests, including Lugo, who had fled to the Bahamas.

Charged with murder, racketeering, kidnapping and a slew of other charges, the 12-week trial in 1998 featured more than 10,000 exhibits. Prosecutor Gail Levine, in her closing argument, said the plot “was like a bad movie.”

“How could something like this occur in our society?” she asked jurors, gesturing to Lugo and Doorbal. “And how could there be evil people like these men?”

Jurors in 1998 convicted Lugo, Doorbal and Mese, who later died in prison. Delgado pleaded guilty to being an accessory and received 15 years in prison.

Others involved in the kidnappings and murders pleaded guilty in the case.

Schiller, who testified in the trial against his attackers, was arrested afterward for Medicare fraud. He later pleaded guilty and was released from prison in 2001.

Renewed interest

The South Florida-filmed movie, which received $4.2 million in state tax breaks, has created renewed interest in the real-life case.

ABC News recently chronicled the story on the documentary-show Revenge For Real.

Long free from prison, Schiller has recently penned a first-person book, Pain & Gain: The Untold True Story.

Bay’s movie is based on “Pain & Gain,” a series of Miami New Times articles, by Pete Collins, published in 1999. He is soon releasing his book on the case.

“It’s sad because we’ve dealt with the families, years of prosecutions and appeals,” said retired Miami-Dade homicide Sgt. Felix Jimenez. “But at the same time, it’s Hollywood. What do you expect? I recognize it’s Hollywood and they’re entitled to poetic license. Nothing we can do about it.”


Daniel Lugo

DC#  M16321
DOB:  04/06/63

Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Case# 95-17381C
Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Alex E. Ferrer
Attorney, Trial:  Ronald S. Guralnick – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Rafael Rodriguez – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Roy D. Wasson – Registry

Date of Offenses:  11/15/94, 05/24/95, 05/25/95       

Date of Sentence:  07/17/98

Circumstances of Offense:

Daniel Lugo was convicted for, among other charges, the attempted murder of Marc Schiller as well as the murders of Griga and Furton.

Kidnapping, Extortion and Attempted Murder of Marc Schiller:

Schiller was a successful executive who hired Jorge Delgado to help with his business. Delgado often visited Schiller’s house and the two eventually became good friends.  Delgado worked out at Sun Gym where Lugo worked.  Lugo began joining Delgado on visits to Schiller’s house.  Through Lugo, Delgado also became acquainted with the codefendants, Noel Doorbal and John Mese. 

In 1994, Schiller questioned Delgado’s business practices, which caused an argument between the two. Schiller told Delgado he was severing the business ties between them.  Lugo convinced Delgado that Schiller had cheated the two of them in billing operations.  Upon Lugo’s advice, Delgado hired John Mese as a replacement accountant. Delgado testified that Lugo produced documents to back up his claims. 

When questioned by Delgado, Schiller denied any wrongdoing.  It was at this time that Lugo, along with friends of his, made a plan to kidnap Schiller and force him to sign over assets Lugo believed Schiller owed him and Delgado. 

Although Delgado had originally told Lugo he wanted nothing to do with the plan, he became very involved in the plot.   Delgado gave specific information to Lugo about Schiller’s life regarding his schedule, details about his home, and family to Lugo.  Lugo and his group then secretly observed Schiller.

After a few attempts, they were successful in kidnapping Schiller.  They took him to a warehouse Delgado had rented.  Lugo to demanded that Schiller sign over his assets to him.  After Schiller refused, the group began beating him and shocking him with a stun gun.  Schiller finally agreed to sign after Lugo had threatened to harm Schiller’s wife and children. Schiller unwillingly began signing checks and documents, giving Lugo possession of his property and assets.  During this time, Schiller was blindfolded, so he could not see what he was signing. 

Three weeks into the kidnapping, a member of the group approached Lugo and convinced him they needed to kill Schiller because he could possibly identify some or all of those involved.  In the fourth week of the abduction, they forced Schiller to consume a large amount of alcohol.  Lugo took Schiller’s car and ran it into a pole to make it appear as though Schiller was involved in a car accident. 

They took Schiller to the car and put him in the front seat.  They then poured gasoline over the vehicle and set it on fire.  The group was then ready to leave the scene in another car when they saw Schiller in the road.  Lugo then told the driver to run him over, which the driver did.  They left the scene convinced that Schiller was dead. 

They found out later that Schiller had actually survived, and, at his request, was transported to New York.  While Schiller was in New York, Lugo and his group emptied his house and bank accounts.  Schiller was able to identify Lugo in his testimony because he recognized Lugo’s voice during his abduction. 

The police found items described as belonging to Schiller in Lugo’s possession.  Also discovered, were checks from Schiller’s checking account, which were payable to Mese.

Abduction, attempted Extortion, and the Murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton:

Noel Doorbal, one of the men involved in the abduction of Schiller with Lugo, learned of another wealthy executive, Frank Griga, and his girlfriend, Krisztina Furton.  Doorbal relayed this information and convinced Lugo to form a plan to kidnap and extort the couple.  Lugo accepted and was again in full participation of the planning process.

Lugo and Doorbal planned to visit Griga under the guise of presenting a business proposition.  They planned to gain his confidence through this encounter; however, Griga was not interested. 

During their second visit on 05/24/95, Lugo and Doorbal were to carry out the abduction, but Lugo aborted the plan.  They returned later that day and invited them to dinner.  Lugo’s plan was to lure the couple to Doorbal’s apartment.  The couple did follow Lugo and Doorbal to the apartment.  

Jorge Delgado visited Lugo and Doorbal at Doorbal’s apartment on 05/25/95, where he was informed that Griga was killed during a fight with Doorbal.  Once Furton, Griga’s girlfriend, knew Griga was seriously hurt, she started screaming.  It was at that time that Lugo restrained her and injected her with Rompun, a horse tranquilizer, to subdue her. 

They then started focusing on Furton for information about the code to enter Griga’s home.  Doorbal had carried Furton to the bottom of the staircase, where she began to scream again.  She was then injected a second time with the horse tranquilizer. 

After answering a few questions, Furton decided not to supply them with any more information.  They injected her with a third dose of the tranquilizer, which resulted in her death.  Lugo hired a corrections officer, John Raimondo, to kill Furton and dispose of both the bodies.  He did neither. 

Lugo went to Griga’s house with what he thought was the code to get in.  Once he realized he did not have the correct code, he called Doorbal who informed Lugo that Furton was dead.  When Lugo returned to Doorbal’s apartment, he told Delgado to go home and to return to Doorbal’s apartment the next morning with a truck.  The next morning, both bodies were loaded onto the truck and they took them to the warehouse in Hialeah.  After Lugo and Doorbal had purchased the necessary equipment, they proceeded to dismember the bodies.  They also attempted to burn the heads, hands and feet.  Lugo and Doorbal removed everything from Doorbal’s apartment that had blood on it.

On May 27 Lugo made a trip to the Bahamas to try and gain access to Griga’s bank account.  He was not successful and returned to Miami. On May 28, Lugo, Doorbal and another man disposed of all the body parts.  Lugo ran off to the Bahamas, where he was arrested in June 1995.

*****

Trial Summary:

10/02/96          Defendant was indicted on the following:

Count I - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering
Count II - Racketeering
Count III - First-Degree Murder (Furton)
Count IV - First-Degree Murder (Griga)
Count V - Kidnapping
Count VI - Kidnapping
Count VIII - Attempted Extortion
Count IX - Grand Theft Auto
Count X - Attempted First-Degree Murder
Count XI - Armed Kidnapping
Count XII - Armed Robbery
Count XIII - Burglary
Count XIV - Grand Theft (Second-Degree)
Count XV - Grand Theft Auto
Count XVI - Possession of an Identification Plate
Count XVII - Arson
Count XVIII - Extortion
Count XIX - Money Laundering (Counts XIX – XXVII)
Count XXVIII - Forgery (Counts XXVIII, XXXI, XXXIV, XXVII, XL, XLIII)
Count XXX - Uttering a Forged Instrument (Counts XXX, XXIII, XXXVI, IXL, XLII, XLV)
Count XLVI - Conspiracy to Commit a First-Degree Felony

05/05/98          Defendant was found guilty on all the charges on the indictment.

06/11/98          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury voted, by an 11 to 1 majority, for the death sentence.

 07/17/98          Defendant was sentenced as follows:

Count I - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering – 30 years
Count II - Racketeering – 30 years
Count III - First-Degree Murder (Furton) – Death
Count IV - First-Degree Murder (Griga) – Death
Count V - Kidnapping – Life
Count VI - Kidnapping – Life
Count VIII - Attempted Extortion – 5 years
Count IX - Grand Theft Auto – 5 years
Count X - Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life
Count XI - Armed Kidnapping – Life
Count XII - Armed Robbery – 15 years
Count XIII - Burglary – 15 years
Count XIV - Grand Theft (Second-Degree) – 15 years
Count XV - Grand Theft Auto – 5 years
Count XVI - Possession of an Identification Plate – 5 years
Count XVII - Arson – 30 years
Count XVIII - Extortion – 30 years
Count XIX - Money Laundering (Counts XIX – XXVII) – 15 years each                  
Count XXVIII - Forgery (Counts XXVIII, XXXI, XXXIV, XXVII, XL, XLIII) – 5 years each
Count XXX - Uttering a Forged Instrument (Counts XXX, XXIII, XXXVI, IXL, XLII, XLV) – 5 years each.
Count XLVI - Conspiracy to Commit a First-Degree Felony – 15 years

*****

Codefendant Information:

Noel Doorbal (DC# M16320) was indicted on 10/02/96 and sentenced on 07/17/98 on the following (CC# 95-17381-B):

Count I - Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering – 30 years
Count II - Racketeering – 30 years
Count III - First-Degree Murder (Furton) - Death
Count IV - First-Degree Murder (Griga) - Death
Count V - Kidnapping – Life
Count VI - Kidnapping – Life
Count VIII - Attempted Extortion – 5 years                                                           
Count IX - Grand Theft Auto – 5 years
Count X - Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life
Count XI - Armed Kidnapping – Life
Count XII - Armed Robbery - Life
Count XIII - Burglary – 15 years
Count XIV - Grand Theft (Second-Degree) – 15 years
Count XVII - Arson – 30 years
Count XVIII - Extortion – 30 years
Count XLVI - Conspiracy to Commit a First-Degree Felony 15 years

John Mese (DC# Q03835) was indicted on 10/02/96 (CC# 95-17381-F) for the kidnapping, extortion, and murders of Griga and Furton and the kidnapping and extortion of Marc Schiller.   A jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment; however, the judge set aside the convictions pertaining to the Griga/Furton crimes.  On 07/20/98, Mese was sentenced to 56 years’ imprisonment for the kidnapping and extortion of Schiller.

Mese appealed and the State cross-appealed the sentence to the Florida District Court of Appeal, Third District.  On 06/19/02, the DCA ruled that the trial judge improperly set aside the two RICO convictions and ordered a new sentencing hearing to be conducted on those counts.

On 01/15/03, Mese was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment for one count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. 

John Raimondo (DC# 198195) was indicted on 10/02/96 (CC# 95-17381-I) on one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, First-Degree Murder (Furton), Kidnapping (Furton), and Attempted Extortion.  The State nolle prossed all but the kidnapping charge, and Raimondo was convicted and sentenced to eight years imprisonment for the crime. 

Jorge Delgado (DC# 126314) was sentenced to two prison terms of 15 and 5 years for his role in the murders of Griga and Furton and the attempted murder of Schiller (in return for testifying for the State). 

*****

Case Information:

On 09/28/98, Lugo filed his Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  Lugo’s appeal claimed error in the trial court because they did not grant him separate trials for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization counts, the Schiller counts and the Griga-Furton counts. 

The trial court did separate Lugo’s trial from his codefendants but found that he could be tried on all counts in one trial.  This Court agreed with the trial court in that each count was connected and similar enough to try in one trial.  They further stated that, even if the counts were tried separately, the charges could be introduced as evidence in each trial. 

Lugo also contended that there was insufficient evidence in the convictions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization counts.  Another issue Lugo raised in the appeal was that the State made improper comments during opening and closing arguments.

In addition, Lugo raised that there were errors in the introduction of evidence from previous convictions as well as Brady claims.  The Court found no reversible errors in the trial courts decision and affirmed the convictions and sentences on 02/20/03.

On 07/28/03, Lugo filed a Petition for Writ Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 10/06/03.

On 04/21/05, Lugo filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court, which was denied on 03/29/06.

On 07/31/06, Lugo filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which is currently pending.

FloridaCapitalCases.state.fl.us


Muscle and mayhem: The real-life story behind Miami's murderous Sun Gym gang

By Chuck Stevenson, Jamie Stolz, Tamara Weitzman and Alicia Tejada - CBSNews.com

April 27, 2013

(CBS News) MIAMI -- Zsuzsanna Griga will never forget the kidnapping of her brother, Frank, and his girlfriend, Krisztina Furton in 1995.

"...he loved fast cars, beautiful girls and life," Griga said. "She was very beautiful. She was only 23 years old. My heart breaks when I think of what she went through."

Felix Jimenez, now retired from the Metro-Dade Police homicide department, was the lead detective on the case.

"Very handsome couple, they looked like they were made for each other," Jimenez explained. "Frank was the American success story -- an immigrant, came to this country with $10 dollars in his pocket and made millions."

He came from Budapest, Hungary, and found a minimum wage job in New York City.

"It was like a service station ... he was changing the oil, washing cars," Zsuzsanna Griga explained. "What he accomplished ... should make everyone proud because he went from nowhere to a millionaire on his own just by using his own resources."

In fewer than 10 years, Frank was living in an upscale Miami enclave called "Golden Beach" and running a phone sex line empire. He was on top of the world until May 24, 1995.

"I started calling him and he wouldn't pick up the phone," Zsuzsanna Griga said. "I kind of knew that something really bad happened then..."

The disappearance of Frank and Krisztina would become one of Miami's most notorious crimes. But who would want to kidnap them?

"How did this all go down?" Roberts asked Jimenez.

"So we got a call that there was a missing -- a wealthy couple that was missing out of Golden Beach," he explained. "That was a little strange because in homicide we need a crime scene. We need a dead body to respond to. They're few and far between when there's actually a missing person that we would respond. It has to be highly suspicious circumstances. And it so happened in this case there was."

At first, the detectives hoped they could find Frank and Krisztina alive.

"...the missing Hungarian couple had said that they were going to the Bahamas the -- the-- following day. So all their friends assumed that the reason they weren't home was because they were in the Bahamas," said Jimenez.

All that changed, though, when a police made a stunning discovery.

"Their Lamborghini was found in an abandoned, wooded area far outside of Miami," said Jimenez.

"At this point, we realized that something bad -- something bad had happened to this couple," said Sam Garafalo.

Garafalo, also retired, worked the case for his boss, Felix Jimenez. They are now both CBS News consultants.

"We got information and -- as soon as we got it, we ended up going to Golden Beach," he said.

"So you have a missing Hungarian couple and a Lamborghini," Roberts noted.

"We had more than that. We had a next door neighbor ... that had actually been to the house the last time they were seen alive and they invited her in and introduced her to two muscle-bound men that were driving a gold Mercedes and told them they were going out to dinner to discuss a business deal," said Jimenez.

The neighbor would tell police she'd met the driver of the gold Mercedes and knew his name: Danny Lugo.

"Danny was a big muscular guy," said Jimenez.

Police would soon learn that Lugo was a burley ex-convict who had served time for running a phony loan scam operation. After his release, he became the manager of a suburban Miami health club called Sun Gym.

"This is where the Sun Gym was located. This is what we would call the gang headquarters," said Jimenez.

"Danny Lugo was a Puerto Rican-Cuban kid from the Bronx," added Garafalo.

"He thought he was smarter than anybody else," Jimenez added. "He had a way of convincing people to do things they didn't want to do."

The investigation into Frank and Krisztina's disappearance continued. Detectives learned Lugo was the leader of a group made up of drifters and petty thieves who hung out at the Sun Gym. His main partner in crime was another muscle head, Adrian Doorbal.

"Adrian Doorbal was Danny Lugo's protege," said Jimenez.

"Doorbal was just an evil, he reminded me of just an evil guy," said Garafalo.

"He was a steroid freak. ... He's like 5 foot 7 tall and 5 foot 7 wide," Jimenez continued. "He'd do anything and everything that Danny Lugo told him to do."

In May 1995, Danny Lugo and Adrian Doorbal would be at the center of one of the most notorious crimes in Miami history: a complicated and deadly plot that involved kidnapping, money and murder.

Eighteen years later, the story was too much for Hollywood to resist. In the new movie "Pain and Gain", Lugo is portrayed by Mark Wahlberg.

The film, released by Paramount Pictures, is part of Viacom, a company affiliated with CBS.

The movie captures what Lugo was about in real life: his infatuation with getting rich, says Patty Barrientos, who worked alongside him at a gym.

"He'd say... 'I'm gonna have a lot of money... I wanna grow, I wanna be somebody very big...'" said Barrientos.

Asked if he was money hungry, Barrientos told Roberts, "Yes."

With the little money he had, he spent a lot of it at the Solid Gold Strip Club. It was here he began an affair with a one-time Penthouse model-turned exotic dancer named Sabina Petrescu.

"She was a very, very attractive woman," Jimenez said. "She fell for Danny and believed everything he told her."

Petrescu was another recent immigrant who made a splash in Miami. She was a finalist in the Miss Romania contest in 1990, then came to the United States to begin a modeling career. She made it onto the pages of Penthouse magazine, but filled the rest of her time as an exotic dancer.

"Danny treated her well ... he gave her a BMW," said Jimenez.

Petrescu would play a crucial role as police continued gathering more evidence connecting Lugo and Doorbal to the disappearance of Frank and Krisztina.

"We have the housekeeper who was also at the home when the -- the musclemen were there. We have the next door neighbor. We show them photographs. They make identification. So we have a lot to go on," said Jimenez.

Search warrants were executed for the homes of Lugo and Doorbal and their associates.

"I mean we had so many cops it wasn't even funny," said Garafalo.

"... in fact we mobilized right in this park," Jimenez pointed out.

Police quickly hit pay dirt in the apartment of Danny Lugo's girlfriend.

"There was some damning evidence there ... bloody clothing belonging to Frank and Krisztina, there was the kidnap kit -- a case with duct tape ...guns, [stun guns], handcuffs -- there was so much evidence in that apartment," said Jimenez.

Soon Adrian Doorbal was in custody and refused to talk to police.

"The main guy that we're after, Danny Lugo, is nowhere to be found," said Jimenez.

Danny Lugo had given them the slip.

"This case was all over the news," retired homicide detective Felix Jimenez told Troy Roberts. "Miami was riveted as to this attractive Hungarian couple ... you know, this yellow Lamborghini found in the Everglades and that they're missing and they continue to be missing."

But detectives had lost their lead suspect, Danny Lugo.

"Lugo's gone, we have a warrant for his arrest," Jimenez said. "He's just vanished. We don't know where he is."

They did have one good lead.

"We had his girlfriend, Sabina Petrescu," said Jimenez.

Sabina Petrescu, the magazine model-turned stripper, had quite a story to tell. She said her boyfriend wasn't a criminal. He told her he was a CIA agent.

"Number one, she was smitten with Danny Lugo, and number two, I think she believed what he was saying -- that he was a CIA operative -- that he was working for the U.S. government in kidnapping people that were dangerous to this country," said Jimenez.

Danny Lugo had convinced her he was a spy on a secret mission. So for now, she wouldn't tell detectives where Lugo was. But it would be just a matter of time.

In an incredible twist of fate, detectives in another department at Metro-Dade police had also been looking at Danny Lugo and Adrian Doorbal. Their case was the bizarre kidnapping of another Miami millionaire. Now, Lugo and Doorbal were front and center of two cases.

The Miami millionaire was Marc Schiller, an accountant.

"He was Argentinean born, grew up in the U.S., went to school, got his CPA license, he had a medical billing business that did very well," Jimenez explained.

The two crimes would become one huge case -- a case that Judge Alex Ferrer, now TV's "Judge Alex", and Miami-Dade prosecutor Gail Levine would never forget.

"This case was what made me who I am today, a career prosecutor," said Levine.

"Of all the cases I've tried this is by far the most fascinating case," said Ferrer.

Schiller would eventually tell police a wild story -- that five months before the murders of Frank and Krisztina, Schiller himself had been grabbed by a gang. Bound and gagged, he'd be dumped at a warehouse and held for more than a month.

"This is a warehouse that was rented by one of the members of the Sun Gym Gang," Jimenez told Roberts as they stood outside the building.

"They drove the van with Schiller inside into the warehouse."

"Mark Schiller was the perfect victim because he was involved in something that was illegal," said Levine.

"I think he got greedy and started to get involved in Medicare fraud," said Jimenez.

Danny Lugo learned about Schiller from Jorge Delgado, who also worked out at Sun Gym. Schiller and Delgado had been in business.

"Him and Jorge Delgado started a mortgage business together," said Jimenez.

But business went badly, and later Schiller and Delgado had a falling out over a deal. Delgado wanted revenge and told Lugo that Schiller would be an easy mark.

"They basically go 'He's not goin' to the cops ... he's involved in Medicare fraud. We'll shake him down...'" said Ferrer.

So what was the plan?" Roberts asked Levine.

"The plan was actually very simple: kidnap Marc Schiller, have him write his own ransom and then kill him," she replied.

"Simple as that?" Roberts asked.

"Simple as that," said Levine.

But catching Schiller to shake him down was tougher than it looked.

"It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic ... because they made these stupid attempts," Ferrer explained. "They would hide in his yard under blankets like they were some kind of ninja ... waiting for him to come out and get the paper at five in the morning and they were gonna kidnap him ... only to be surprised that cars were coming down the street and lighting them up with their headlights...

"So then they're running through yards, screaming 'abort, abort like they're on some secret mission for the government," he continued.

Hollywood could not resist this crazy scene. The gang used costumes and comic book code names like Batman and Robin and tried to stage an accident to kidnap Schiller.

"They're waiting for him to drive by to stage this accident," Ferrer explained. "They turned the car off and as he's driving by they're cranking it and the car won't start and he goes driving by. So it's like the Keystone Cops gone bad."

Finally, after multiple attempts, the "gang that couldn't shoot straight" enlisted some serious muscle and planned to take Schiller down outside a restaurant he owned.

"They waited in a van and they had their biggest gym rats come out," said Levine.

A co-conspirator, who "48 Hours" agreed to keep anonymous, worked with the Sun Gym gang to kidnap Schiller.

"I'm a good hearted person. I just made a mistake," he told Roberts.

"I was pretty hardcore..." he said of his weightlifting.

"At your peak you could bench 475 pounds?" Roberts asked.

"505," he replied.

"505? How big were you?"

"I was like a lean 270 pounds," he said.

"Big guy... intimidating," Roberts commented.

"Yeah."

He was desperate for money and sometimes worked at the Sun Gym. In 1994, Lugo and his gang were offering cash for a little help.

"He told me, 'Look, I gotta talk to you about something,'" the co-conspirator continued. "'... he owes me money'... and 'I need you to come with me and help me collect.'"

He agreed, and in November of 1994, brought his gun.

"So you had your .45 with you?" Roberts asked.

"I always carry my firearm," he said.

"We were parked right there," the man said, standing with Roberts in the parking lot, "... and as soon as he came out of his restaurant, they saw him so they said... 'There he is, there he is...'"

"It was one of those days in Miami where a storm was coming in," Schiller recalled.

Schiller is a man who cheated death and whose harrowing ordeal is now dramatized by actor Tony Shalhoub in the new movie.

"Why are you alive?" Roberts asked Schiller.

"I guess its divine intervention. I can't explain it," he replied.

Schiller's nightmare started just as he was about to head for home after work.

"I walked out to my car ... as soon as I opened my door ... I'm grabbed from behind by three guys," said Schiller.

"... and as soon as they grabbed him the guy grabbed the steering wheel... he was screaming the co-conspirator told Roberts.

"They just kept punching me ... and they had a Taser... and they kept Tasering [sic] me," said Schiller.

"They were Tasing him," the co-conspirator continued. "He was screaming ... 'What do you want, what do you want with me, what are you doin?"

"At that point, they dragged me to the van -- a white van," Schiller said. "They handcuffed my hands behind my back."

"You must have been terrified," Roberts commented.

"I thought they were gonna take me and kill me," he said.

"They duct taped him... they put tape on his mouth ... and we took off right out of here," said the co-conspirator.

"When we got to the warehouse," said Schiller, "they called the boss."

The boss was Danny Lugo, the same man at the center of the Krisztina Furton-Frank Griga murder case.

"... told him, 'The eagle has landed.' I guess I was the eagle," said Schiller.

"When I left ... Schiller was sitting in the chair ... he was taped up -- hands and legs ... and they were beating on him," the co-conspirator told Roberts.

Schiller was tortured endlessly. Sometimes, it was with fire.

"Doorbal would yell, 'Fire! Fire!' but real sick," Schiller said. "And he would burn me, you know, burn my skin ... and then he'd do this again ... and he was laughing so hard he was crying."

Other times, they played Russian roulette.

"They would place a gun to his head, they would take a revolver and spin it and pull the trigger," Jimenez explained. "For the first couple weeks, he wasn't even allowed to use the bathroom. He would have to urinate and defecate on himself."

But the worst was yet to come.

"At this point they told me, 'Well if you don't give us a list of everything you have ... we're gonna bring your wife down here and rape her in front of you," said Schiller.

Schiller says he was allowed to make one phone call. He called his family, telling his wife to take their two young children and flee to Colombia. She chose not to call the police.

Asked why she didn't she call police, Schiller told Roberts, "I don't know. I think at that point, it was prudent not to."

And for some inexplicable reason, none of Schiller's employees, friends or extended family raised the alarm. With his family safely out of the country, Schiller was still suffering. Finally, the daily torture was too much. He gave up, giving the gang everything.

"I signed. They told me my death sentence," said Schiller.

"He was signing over everything, including his life," Levine said. "It was $1.2 million in cash and assets and a $2 million life insurance policy."

"And pretty soon they had everything the man owned. They moved into his house, they changed the pool contract to their name. They were living there ... and partying in his home," Ferrer explained. "And they were taking some of the furniture they liked and putting it into their own apartments, wearing his jewelry, driving his Dodge Viper, and his Mercedes ... and just basically living off his money. ... Well, at that point, you can't let the guy live ... so they decide he's gotta go."

Having forced him to sign over his assets, the Sun Gym gang, led by Danny Lugo, was partying in Marc Schiller's house. In the Hollywood feature, "Pain and Gain", Mark Wahlberg's character depicts the depravity.

"They were living in the house. In my house," Schiller told Troy Roberts.

Despite his cooperation, Schiller still remained chained like an animal in the Miami warehouse.

"Schiller was tied to a pipe in a very small bathroom. That's where he spent the next 30 days, was handcuffed to that pipe," former homicide Felix Jimenez explained.

The businessman and father was living in kind of a hell associated with a Third World dungeon -- complete with racial slurs.

"They just told me, 'We got a matzo ball' ..." said Schiller.

"What does that mean?" Roberts asked.

"I guess they were referring to the fact I was Jewish," he replied.

Schiller can't forget the sick soundtrack that came with his daily beatings.

"They, I mean this whole time they were laughing uncontrollably. To them it was just a fun game," he said.

"While they were beating you?" Roberts asked.

"Yeah."

"Did any of your captors show you any kindness?"

"Yeah, the guy that was at night there, because they stopped feeding me," Schiller explained. "I was starved. I hadn't eaten for like three days. He brought me a can of a - canned ravioli, which I had to eat with my hands."

That would be one of the last meals the Sun Gym gang intended for Schiller to have as Lugo put his final plan into action.

"They give him alcohol to drink. Get him all drunk," said Judge Alex Ferrer.

"They plied you with alcohol for three straight days" Roberts noted to Schiller.

"It was probably more than that, it was probably like five days," he said.

"And then what did they do?"

"The last day? ... They set me in a chair, and they give me this concoction, a drink," said Schiller.

"Liquor, tequila, vodka and gave him sleeping pills. And eventually he passed out," said Jimenez.

Schiller was unconscious.

"They put him in his Toyota 4Runner, his SUV," said Ferrer.

"And they drove the car into a light pole. Doorbal was driving," Jimenez explained. "... and then douse the car with gasoline and set it on fire. And that was their attempt to kill him. They backed out about a block away to watch the car as it was engulfed in flames."

"The problem is, they don't buckle him in," Ferrer explained. "The flames revive him enough that he stumbles out of the car and towards the road."

The surprised Sun Gym gang moved in to finish off Marc Schiller.

"... and they see this guy that they just lit on fire standing by the side of the road and they yell, 'Run him over, run him over,'" said Ferrer.

"They drive forward and they try to run him over, they missed. But then they were able to back over him and then run over him again," said Jimenez.

"And they get back to their place, and they go, 'You think we killed him?' They're looking at the dent of the car, and they say, 'I don't know it's not a big dent, yeah but we ran him over, and we backed over him, I mean he must be dead,'" Ferrer continued.

Asked what he remembered next, Schiller told Roberts, "Waking up in a hospital."

It would be months before Schiller could grasp the full horror of how he ended up half dead at Jackson Memorial, Miami's top trauma center.

"I was in a coma when they picked me up," he told Roberts.

In the frenetic haze of the intensive care unit -- burned and bruised, his pelvis broken -- Marc Schiller tried to tell his story of abduction and torture to nurses, doctors -- anyone who might listen.

"Yeah, I told 'em I was kidnapped, and they go, 'No no, you were in a bad accident,'" he said. "And I go, 'No, no, no, no. I was kidnapped. And they just blew it off."

"How many times did you insist you had been kidnapped?" Roberts asked.

"About three and then I gave up," said Schiller.

"He's trying to convince the nurse to give him a phone, because he says he was kidnapped. And she just keeps going, 'No you weren't kidnapped, you were drunk, you hit a pole," said Ferrer.

"I knew they weren't gonna do anything,"said Schiller.

"Finally, she gives him the phone. He calls his lawyer," said Ferrer.

From there, it took just moments to figure out Marc Schiller needed a lot more than just a lawyer.

But even Ed Du Bois, with 50 years of experience as a private investigator, had never heard anything quite like Schiller's story.

"The call was unusual because the story was so bizarre," said Du Bois.

Du Bois met Schiller and believed his story. Soon, both men realized.

Schiller had an even bigger problem: Lugo and Delgado were intent on finishing the job.

"I was a sitting duck," said Schiller.

"Did you fear that Delgado and Lugo were going to come to hospital to finish the job?" Roberts asked.

"Yeah. And my sister was there and my brother. And we were all in a panic," he said.

"And I said, 'The easy answer is for you to get out of the hospital," said Du Bois.

"Why didn't either of you go to the police at that point?" Roberts asked.

"Well ... we couldn't wait for the police," Du Bois replied.

Schiller's sister ripped the medical tubes from his arms.

"And the doctor said, 'You can't move him. He's in critical condition,'" said Schiller.

Schiller's brother and sister booked an air ambulance, grabbed their brother and bolted out of Miami, heading north -- not a minute too soon.

"We left at 8 o'clock in the morning. I guess they came at 10 to look for me, to kill us all, all three of us," said Schiller.

"Delgado and Lugo?" Roberts asked.

"Yeah, to the hospital," he replied.

The now desperate Sun Gym gang had tracked down their former captive.

"As they're walking the halls of Jackson Memorial Hospital looking for him, he's on an air ambulance flight to New York," said Ferrer.

A thousand miles from Miami, Marc Schiller, now supported by his family, began to heal; his body and bones fractured.

"First, I can't walk and second of all, who knows how many of these people are out there," he said.

Schiller would reunite with his family in Colombia. Weeks would pass, and, strangely, despite his ordeal, Schiller did not report it to police.

"What person gets kidnapped, held for a month, and when he finally gets free, leaves the country and doesn't call the police for four months?" Ferrer wondered.

"I think what's difficult to understand is why you did not go to the police sooner," Roberts commented to Schiller.

"I did," he said.

But according to authorities, it wasn't until April 1995, four months after his escape, that Schiller contacted police.

"'They want you to come to Miami to report it,'" Schiller said. "And I'm like, 'That's not happening.' ... who knows how many of these people are out there. ... I run into them by accident, I'm dead."

"Marc Schiller was asked to come and give testimony under oath four times ... and he stood up not only the prosecutor, but the police, to give that testimony four times," said prosecutor Gail Levine.

Prosecutor Levine would eventually lead the investigation and try the case. She says Schiller didn't come forward, because he had his own credibility issues due to his alleged involvement in Medicare fraud.

"The victim comes from Colombia. He has a lot of money, more money than I would imagine most CPAs in Miami have," she explained.

"So after a while, you and Marc decided to go to the police?" Roberts asked Du Bois.

"Yeah," he replied.

But according to Du Bois and Schiller, when they finally did sit down with the cops...

"They've never listened at all," said Schiller.

"They never went out, never read them their rights, they never asked them a question, they never even said, 'Hello, here I am. We're breathin' down your neck,'" said Du Bois.

"They went to Metro-Dade's top unit that handles just crimes of this nature --just the biggest crimes. And they just didn't believe him," Ferrer explained.

It had been five months since Marc Schiller's ordeal. The muscle-headed gang had trashed his home and burned through his money. They were now hungry for another score.

"If the police had listened to him and investigated, Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton would probably be alive today," said Ferrer.

By May of 1995, five months after his harrowing escape, the Sun Gym gang had burned through all of Marc Schiller's money.

"They'd been partying and going to strip clubs, and dropping thousands of dollars on strippers and it was all his money," said Judge Alex Ferrer.

With Schiller's fortune spent, the gang targeted their next victims: Frank Griga and his beautiful girlfriend, Krisztina Furton.

"There was never any pretense. They knew they were gonna kill them from the outset," said Ferrer.

The millionaire had it all.

"Lugo and Doorbal, on the other hand, they wanted to live that life," Ferrer continued.

The life Frank Griga had built on those dial tones of his sex phone empire.

"It made me very proud that my kid brother made it so big," Zsuzsanna Griga said.

"You know we were very poor when we were young..." she continued.

"It's a true rags-to-riches story," said Roberts.

"Yes it is," Griga replied.

Zsuzsanna had seen her brother's love for the glittery side of the American dream.

"Money was there for him to make other people happy and to play, to buy toys," she said.

"His wealth did afford him certain luxury items," Roberts noted.

"Oh he loved cars, yes, he loved cars," Griga said.

Frank Griga's yellow Lamborghini was legendary. It was that car that caught the eye of Adrian Doorbal. He'd been told about it by a woman who once dated Frank Griga.

"And Doorbal's face lights up and says, 'Who has the yellow Lambo?' And she says, 'Oh, don't you know? That's my friend Frank. He's my old boyfriend," Levine explained. "And he says, 'How would I know him?' 'Oh, he comes into this dance club Solid Gold all the time. Don't you know him?' Doorbal wasn't that stupid. Bingo. We got our next victim."

Doorbal and Lugo approached Frank Griga with a phony, made-up business scheme and a meeting was set at the Solid Gold strip club.

"And they told him that they were investors and that they had a way to make 20-percent return on the dollar," said Levine.

But the real plan mirrored the violent abduction of Marc Schiller: kidnap and torture Frank Griga until he signed over every nickel he had and revealed to the gang where his assets were kept.

"They also needed Krisztina," said Levine.

Asked why, she told Roberts, "They needed Krisztina because if Frank was missing, Krisztina was going to go to the police, 'cause why wouldn't she go to the police? Frank was completely legal."

Lugo and Doorbal, posing as businessmen, lured Frank and Krisztina back to Doorbal's apartment. Within minutes, Doorbal was strangling Frank in the bedroom.

"Doorbal, not knowing his own steroid strength, either broke his neck or suffocated him," said Levine.

And she screams, and Danny tackles her and injects her with horse tranquilizer, which they had basically bought to tranquilize the two of them," said Ferrer.

"And it killed her?" Roberts asked Levine.

"Not initially," she replied.

"They had a dead person and another one, another person near death," said Garafalo.

Krisztina Furton, 23, who loved animals, swimming and had dreams of being a professional diver, was now shot full of horse tranquilizer. Then, Lugo demanded she give up the access code numbers to Frank Griga's house.

"And Doorbal goes and speaks to her and he comes back and says, his exact words were, 'The bitch is cold.' They had injected her with enough horse tranquiller to kill four 1,000-pound horses. And now they're both dead -- Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton. And these two guys don't have a dime," Ferrer explained.

Asked what did they do with the bodies, Levine told Roberts, "Well, they got creative."

With the help of Jorge Delgado, Doorbal and Lugo stuffed the bodies of Frank Griga into a couch and Krisztina Furton into a large cardboard box.

"So here you have these two muscular guys, and on a Saturday morning, during the middle of the day, it looks like they're moving. And they're moving boxes and they're moving a couch. And what they contain are two bodies," said Jimenez.

They took the bodies to an empty warehouse. The horror was just beginning.

"So they went to Home Depot and bought a chain saw. They come back and they're gonna use this to dismember the bodies. But the chain saw doesn't have enough power. So these geniuses take this chainsaw back to Home Depot and return it," said Ferrer.

"You're kidding me," said Roberts.

"... and they brought that back and they end up buying an electric chainsaw," said Garafalo.

"It boggles the mind that they would return a chain saw that they were going to use to dismember these people," Roberts told the detectives.

"There's a lot of things about this case that boggle the mind," said Jimenez.

But the second chain saw jammed in Krisztina Furton's beautiful, thick hair. That's when Doorbal and Lugo reached for an ax.

"And they started chopping the body parts. For hours," said Levine.

"And they disposed of the torsos in one part of the county in oil drums," said Ferrer.

"And they left those hands, heads and feet in buckets at the 31 mile marker," Levine continued.

"... in the Everglades, on the Alligator Alley that goes from Ft. Lauderdale to Naples," said Ferrer.

"I have never passed that mile marker without saying a little prayer for Frank and Krisztina," said Levine.

Another gang member would dump Frank Griga's yellow Lamborghini on the side of the road, in the swampy Florida Everglades.

Police didn't need a GPS. The map was clear and it led straight to the Sun Gym gang.

"And I remember saying, 'We don't have a missing persons, we have a very major homicide,'" said Levine.

Soon, Frank's big sister was on a flight to Miami.

"The bodies were found that day," Zsuzsanna Griga told Roberts of the day she arrived. "Sergeant Jimenez and Sgt. Garafalo ... came and picked me up at the airport and they explained that they just had, you know, they had the bodies. Yes." Griga paused before continuing. "Sorry. It's still very hard after 17 years."

As investigators put the pieces together, Marc Schiller's kidnap story echoed like thunder.

"And they said, 'I think we got another case just like yours ... could you come down to Miami?' I said, 'Yeah, yeah. I'll come to Miami,'" said Schiller.

The Sun Gym gang left a massive, bloody trail of evidence. The last of the muscle heads would be busted when Danny Lugo's girlfriend, Sabina Petrescu, told police that Lugo was hiding out in the Bahamas.

The crimes and the trial would captivate and horrify all of south Florida.

"It was disturbing on every level. And I've tried serial killers," Ferrer said. "But this case really got to me."

Almost four years after he was left for dead, Marc Schiller faced off again against the Sun Gym gang.

In February 1998, almost three years after the gruesome murders of Frank Griga and Krisztina Furton, Danny Lugo and Adrian Doorbal were set to go on trial.

The case would be career defining for prosecutor Gail Levine.

"It was so encompassing ... from the day I got the call, from the day I started investigating it, from the day I met the victim's family, from the day I met everybody involved, from the relationship that I developed with police in investigating the case," she explained.

Lugo's girlfriend, Sabina Petrescu, was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony. She knew all the gang's secrets and details of their plots, though she believed they were undercover CIA agents.

"Sabina Petrescu's probably one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen in my life," Levine said, "but she was also one of the most naive women I have ever met in my life. She was in love with Danny Lugo and she thought he was her CIA agent."

With 100 witnesses and thousands of pieces of evidence, the case would drag on for 10 weeks, overseen by Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the State Attorney for Miami-Dade County.

"... when you have a case that's that grotesque and you know people suffered ... what do we do to bring justice to the victims of this case, either in their name or for their surviving members ," said Rundle.

Justice was what Marc Schiller got this time. He was in control as the prosecution's star witness.

"Walking in and seeing Lugo and Doorbal ... I realized that -- I was in the driver's seat ... because they never imagined that I'd be sitting there accusing them," said Schiller.

The prosecution rested. Lugo and Doorbal's attorneys chose not to put on a case.

"There's sometimes when, as a defense lawyer, you don't have anything to go on. You just don't. You can't claim misidentification. You can't claim anything," said Ferrer.

"What was the defense strategy?" Roberts asked Levine.

"Save their lives," she replied.

Jurors wasted little time making their decision. Within hours, they reached their verdict: Daniel Lugo was found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Krisztina Furton and Frank Griga.

Doorbal was also found guilty and both men were sentenced to death.

"He was treated like a prisoner of war or actually worse. The torture and the beatings and the -- the attempts to kill him and all of that. For some reason, it just felt to me that that should be taken into consideration," said Ferrer.

Incredibly, one of Schiller's torturers, Jorge Delgado - the Sun Gym member who had first told Lugo about Schiller and his millions - ended up helping the federal government make their case.

In a plea deal, Schiller ended up serving two years in federal prison and paying $137,000 in restitution.

"He felt betrayed," Roberts noted to Levine.

"His jail sentence is what he did, but the pain and suffering that he endured, that -- nobody deserves that," she said. "Did Marc Schiller deserve to go to prison? I leave that to the federal government. I wasn't involved in that at all."

Today, while Schiller refuses to talk about the charges, he does say he lost everything -- his health, his home, his millions. Even now, with a big Hollywood movie, he won't get a dime.

"It's a comedy, which is unfortunate, because there was nothing funny that happened to me," he said. "These were inept, incompetent people, but they were at the same time malicious and cold-blooded murderers."

Ultimately, the rest of the gang went to prison, too. The co-conspirator was sentenced to two years imprisonment for his involvement in Schiller's kidnapping and Jorge Delgado got 15. In all, seven members of the gang would do time.

It's been 18 long years since the gang tortured and killed their way through Miami.

Gail Levine has continued her career at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office. She's tried more than 80 cases.

Judge Alex Ferrer left the bench in 2005, and continues to enjoy success with his syndicated television show.

Marc Schiller has just released his tell-all tale, "Pain and Gain - The Untold True Story".

Lugo and Doorbal remain on death row.

Lugo and Doorbal have appealed their convictions multiple times over the past 15 years.

Once their appeals have been exhausted, Florida's governor will sign a death warrant and they will be executed by lethal injection.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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