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Funk, Szachacz & Diamond Featured in Brevard Business News

Funk, Szachacz & Diamond Featured in Brevard Business News

Criminal trial attorneys Alan Diamond, Keith Szachacz, and Kepler Funk were featured in a Brevard Business News article titled, “Funk, Szachacz & Diamond cut wide path as trial lawyers, unique cases” on March 9, 2020. The extensive piece highlighted how our firm has successfully handled high-profile and uniquely complex cases, which have spanned across different states and countries.

Some of the winning cases that were addressed in the article include:

  • Space shuttle parts fraud (Florida) – 15 years ago, our legal team defended Billy T. Thornton, a 15-year veteran and a quality-assurance specialist at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) who had been accused by the U.S. Government of committing 166 felony counts of fraud. This is the first and only cases in U.S. legal history involving space shuttle parts and fraud. After presenting an effective defense that included crawling around the space shuttle Discovery, examining the work done by contractors, and frequent discussions with rocket scientists, the jury reached a not-guilty verdict since some of the jurors believed the inspector guidelines set forth by were unclear.
  • Cattle fraud (Kansas) – In 2017, Randy Patterson and the Anthony Livestock Co.—one of the largest livestock companies in the U.S.—hired Funk, Szachacz & Diamond after he was indicted on multiple wire fraud charges after federal prosecutors accused Patterson of falsely inflating the value of cattle by faxing invoices to JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding. After learning about Patterson’s life, attending livestock auctions, and gaining extensive knowledge of the cattle industry, our legal team was able to get he and his company acquitted of all charges in federal court.
  • First-degree murder (Florida) – In the early years of their criminal defense careers, Attorney Funk and Attorney Szachacz represented Brazilian National Maria Selma Sodre, who was nicknamed “The Black Widow” after being accused of murdering her husband. Both lawyers performed a three-year investigation, conducting 103 criminal depositions spanning several states and counties, including Brazil, Switzerland, Canada, and even Italy to visit the factory that manufactured the pair of sandals the victim wore at the time of his death. How the tides rose and fell and how the sandals were positioned on the sand helped convince the jury that the husband drowned, rather than being murdered, and Sodre was eventually acquitted.

Before founding the firm, Keith and Attorney Kepler began their legal careers working in the Brevard Public Defender’s Office and Alan was a prosecutor. Our legal team prides itself on putting three lawyers in each case to “level the playing field,” which has resulted in numerous victories over the years. We have represented clients accused of murder, drug trafficking, fraud, arson, corporate espionage, and a host of serious state and federal charges.

For more than 36 years, Brevard Business News has been covering people and stories within the Brevard business community. The paper’s editorial profiles local business leaders each week and educate readers on national business issues and trends.

If you have been charged with a crime in Melbourne, FL, contact us today at (321) 360-4446 and schedule a consultation to learn about your available legal options.


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