PRINT PAGEMaria NeyraPartner
Maria Neyra specializes in white-collar criminal defense, complex investigations and grand jury practice. She combines both legal and Wall Street experience in her approach to federal and state cases involving claims of financial wrongdoing, including securities fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, bribery, public corruption, RICO and tax evasion offenses.
Born in Cardenas, Cuba, Ms. Neyra is fluent in Spanish and proficient in French. She joined the firm in 1995 and became a Partner in 2001. Ms. Neyra is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. She is listed in Best Lawyers in America, as well as being named as a Florida Super Lawyer.
Conducted an internal investigation of a vending machine company entangled in a nation-wide operation against business opportunities and presented findings to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Consumer Branch Division which resulted in a resolution for the successor company and the extrication of certain officers, who were not amongst the 22 defendants charged with mail fraud and wire fraud offenses in three separate cases filed in the E.D. of New York.
Managed the day-to-day preparation for one of the largest charged financial crimes involving derivatives in the Southern District of New York to date. This included supervising the review of the more than 3 million pages of discovery produced to the government by 33 different sources. Ms. Neyra assisted with the creation of a trial database used to prepare for the cross-examination of 95 prospective government witnesses. She identified more than 347 potential defense exhibits to be compiled, 112 defense fact and character witnesses to be interviewed and worked closely with various consultants and experts in formulating the defense strategy. The client received a 5-year sentence following the government aggressively seeking a 27-34 year sentence.
Obtained an administrative stay, along with co-counsel, warding off the emergency suspension of a client’s business in a case involving one of the nation’s largest wholesale pharmaceutical distributors whose owner was charged in a 286-count indictment alleging nine different schemes. Collected cross-examination materials for over 120 potential government witnesses; compiled over 1,000 defense exhibits; interviewed and prepared over 50 defense witnesses; and drafted numerous trial subpoenas.
- Obtained reduced charges for Marcie Gutman, wife of former Florida State Senator Alberto Gutman, who was charged as a co-conspirator in a $15-million Medicare fraud case. Felony charges were reduced to a single misdemeanor count with no jail time.
Served as co-counsel in the tax evasion case of internationally renowned artist Peter Max. Two days before Mr. Max was to go on trial in an 11-count conspiracy and tax fraud case, defense attorneys were able to negotiate a plea that resulted in Mr. Max serving two months in work-release, community service and a fine of $30,000. Mr. Max faced a maximum 10 years imprisonment and a $500,000 fine.
Assisted lead counsel Roy Black in representing numerous business executives, including former WorldCom CFO, Scott D. Sullivan, and Robert Perlmutter, the founder of the nationwide chain Pearl's Arts & Crafts. Both Messieurs Sullivan and Perlmutter’s cases resulted in significantly reduced charges.
- Working alongside partners Roy Black, Scott Kornspan and Mark Shapiro, in addition to outside co-counsel, in a criminal investigation of one of the world's largest corporations and employers in an investigation conducted by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, the State of Florida declined to prosecute this corporate client after approximately 5 months of legal work.
Ms. Neyra worked for two years with the Felony Bond Unit at Miami-Dade County's Public Defender Office prior to joining the firm. She also previously served as a registered mutual fund representative for a Wall Street firm, which piqued her interest in economic crime claims. She was selected during law school by the University to intern with the United States Senate's Subcommittee on Technology and the Law.
Awards and Recognition
- Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2014-2016; Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar, 2016
- "Florida Legal Elite," Florida Trend, 2015
- "Super Lawyer," Florida Super Lawyers, 2013-2015
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Florida, 1996
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2014
- Pro hac vice admissions in various U.S. District Courts
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- American Bar Association
- Florida Trial Lawyer’s Association
- Miami-Dade County Bar Association
- French (proficient)