Rose Marks is desperate to get her convictions thrown out and has attempted one final time but it does not appear to have been successful.
65-year-old Marks of Fort Lauderdale, is currently in federal prison serving 10 years and owes more than $17.5 million in restitution to the clients she ripped off, including her most famous one, romance novelist Jude Deveraux.
In her latest appeal attempt she attacked her trial lawyer Fred Schwartz, accusing him of misconduct. She testified against him saying that he convinced her not to take a plea offer that would have only sent her to prison for 5 years instead of 10.
U.S Magistrate Judge William Matthewman wrote that her request was “wholly without merit” and recommended that her appeal be rejected.
“This is a case where [Marks] steadfastly refused to plead guilty and insisted upon a trial. Now that she has been convicted and sentenced, she is unhappy with her decision to proceed to trial,” wrote the judge. He also added that this was no reason to grant her an appeal.
Marks and her family made international news because of the absurdity of her scam and also because of how much of a following her main victim has.
After hearing her testimony in 2013, jurors found her guilty of fraud and other related charges. Jurors heard during trial of how her and her family took large amounts of gold coins and cash from their victims. They also heard the victims testify that they were promised the money and other valuables would be returned to them after several “cleansing” rituals had been performed on it. Prosecutors informed the jurors that neither valuables nor cash were ever returned to the victims.
During the Deveraux fraud, which went on for decades, Marks convinced the famous author that she was receiving flirty emails from former Secretary of State Colin Powell and actor Brad Pitt.
This most recent appeal, which is the last one she will be allowed to file, Marks also claimed that her lawyer did not put on a good enough defense for her and that he was biased due to a conflict of interest. The conflict of interest she was referring to revolved around an e-book her and her nephew were writing together and which the lawyer encouraged her to be interviewed by the Sun Sentinel, which then resulted in federal tax evasion charges being filed against her.
The judge ruled that all the evidence they had showed how Schwartz kept trying to convince Marks to take a plea deal instead of going to trial but she refused every time. Her also ruled that her lawyer’s defense was more than adequate legally, and that there was no conflict of interest over the future book because he never gave any media interviews with the permission of Marks.
In an upcoming trial, trial judge U.S District Judge Kenneth Marra will make the final decision on the case but it highly unlikely that he will overrule the findings of the magistrate and grant her an appeal.
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