By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
When Lugo's goons finally nabbed Schiller, they took him to Delgado's Hialeah warehouse, where Delgado helped shake him down and plotted his attempted murder. Later, Schiller knew Lugo and Delgado were going to kill the Hungarian couple and even helped his two comrades dispose of the bodies.
"Delgado was meek," Schiller says. "He wouldn't hurt a fly, and then all of a sudden he is plotting murders."
When the dominoes started to fall, though, Delgado was the first to squeal. He confessed his role in 1996 and, in turn, received just 15 years. Prosecutors gave him a sweetheart deal because they needed his testimony, and they couldn't prove he participated in killing the Hungarians. He told the court how Lugo and Doorbal had admitted to murdering and dismembering Griga and Furton.
Current status: Free as a swallow-tailed kite soaring over the Everglades
On September 27, 2002, Delgado was released from the Everglades Correctional Institution in West Dade a year after his wife, Linda, divorced him. He served only seven years in all.
But Delgado didn't turn his life around. In 2008, three days before Christmas, Delgado was arrested for felony grand theft. He walked into a Kmart store on SW Eighth Street and 123rd Avenue, where he attempted to return $7,512 worth of stolen merchandise. He pleaded guilty and received a year of probation.
On July 17, 2011, Delgado married a woman named Jocelyn Rosado Nuñez. They live in a three-bedroom residence in southwest Miami-Dade owned by his parents. Delgado did not respond to a letter mailed to his home requesting comment. He also did not return messages left with his mother and father, who live five minutes from their son.
Name: Marc Schiller
Key description: "Schiller was thin but otherwise a physically unremarkable man, except for a deep burgundy notch on his nose, a souvenir of the duct tape that had been wrapped so tightly around his head during his captivity. Schiller was invigorated by the decision to go to the police. But he also was wary, afraid he might die in Miami."
Real-life role: Sun Gym Gang's first victim
When the Sun Gym Gang targeted him, Schiller's Schlotzsky's Deli franchise near the airport was failing. But he still had a seven-figure bank account thanks to his nutritional-supplements companies. The businessman lived on Old Cutler Road with his wife and two children in a two-story house with a pool. He'd taken Delgado under his wing but later had a falling-out over his friendship with Lugo.
"I never trusted Lugo," Schiller says. "I told Delgado that Lugo would get him in trouble one day. Little did I know the trouble would involve me."
It took the gang six bumbling tries to abduct Schiller — including one bizarre episode involving ninja costumes — but on the morning of November 14, 1994, they finally got him outside of Schlotszky's. They bagged his head, Tasered him, and threw him into the back of a van. Inside his former buddy Delgado's warehouse, Schiller was beaten, pistol-whipped, burned, and subjected to games of Russian roulette. They forced him to call his friends with a story about falling for a young mistress and fleeing town and to call his family and tell them to hide out in Colombia. Meanwhile, they made him sign away all his assets. When they got all they could, the gang ordered him to wash down sleeping pills with a fountain of liquor, put him behind the wheel of his Toyota 4Runner — which they set on fire — and then rammed him into a utility pole.
When Schiller staggered out of the flaming car alive, the gang ran him over — twice! — with a Camry. Still, he lived.
Four years later, on May 27, 1998, Schiller returned to Miami to testify against his tormentors. His schadenfreude was short-lived, though. As he left the courthouse, Schiller was arrested by federal agents on charges of orchestrating a Medicare billing scheme through his nutritional companies.
Current status: Employed as an accountant in Boca Raton. Schiller also self-published his memoir, called Pain & Gain: The Untold Story.
Adding insult to the injury of being busted by the feds, Delgado was among the witnesses who testified against Schiller. On March 17, 1999, Schiller pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the government and got nailed with 46 months in prison and a $14.6 million bill. (Two years after Schiller's conviction, U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold set aside Schiller's restitution and ordered him to pay back only $128,597.87 from the proceeds of a life insurance policy he had.)
Schiller, who got out of prison in 2001, maintains he was innocent, noting the main witness against him was Delgado, the same man who wanted him dead. "I was never tried or convicted by a jury," he says. "I just threw in the towel. I had no fight in me."
After being released, Schiller couldn't land a job because he'd lost his CPA license. So he worked part-time for his brother for a while and then spent a year on a vending machine route. By 2002, Schiller regained his CPA license. "I work 11 hours a day making 20 bucks an hour," he says.