United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INSURANCE COMPANY, GEICO GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY, GEICO CASUALTY COMPANY and GEICO INDEMNITY COMPANY, Plaintiffs,
KJ CHIROPRACTIC CENTER LLC, WELLNESS PAIN & REHAB, INC., SADAT SMITH, ARTHUR VITO, ESDRAS PIERRE LOUIS, JEAN CASSAMAJOR, ROBERT COHEN, ORLENE JOSEPH, EDNER DESIR, ELAINE FELIX, VLADIMIR JEAN PIERRE, ROBERT THELUSMA, SHENIKA RICHARDSON, SHAYLA GAINES, CHANEL AKINS, QUEENA MCRAE, JEAN DORESTANT and BELLE MANAGEMENT, LLC, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. IRICK, UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral
argument on the following motion:
MOTION IN SUPPORT OF REASONABLE ATTORNEY'S FEES, COSTS,
AND EXPENSES RELATIVE TO GEICO'S GRANTED MOTION FOR
SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND DEFAULT JUDGMENT (Doc. 663)
January 22, 2018
it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be
23, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging various
causes of action, including causes of action arising under
the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO), against sixteen Defendants. Doc. 1. Since that time
Plaintiffs have filed two amended complaints and have joined
two additional Defendants. See Docs. 112, 187.
Plaintiffs allege that Defendants were part of a
comprehensive scheme that was comprised of numerous
participants. See Doc. 187. As the Court has
previously explained, the scheme involved the recruitment of
“‘runners' and other individuals to
participate in staged automobile accidents, compensating
participants who engaged in those staged automobile
accidents, referring those participants to pre-selected
clinics for treatment, submitting the automobile insurance
claims to [Plaintiffs], and then receiving payment of the
insurance benefits from [Plaintiffs].” Doc. 495 at 1-2;
see also Doc. 187 at 2-6. As part of the scheme, KJ
Chiropractic Center, LLC (KJ Chiropractic) and Wellness Pain
& Rehab, Inc. (Wellness) created false treatment records
and bills for treatment allegedly rendered by KJ Chiropractic
and Wellness. Doc. 187 at 2-6. KJ Chiropractic and Wellness
then used the United States Mail to send these false
documents to Plaintiffs. Id.; see also Doc.
187-1. As a result, between 2009 and 2012, Defendants
fraudulently collected more than $1, 621, 225.43 from
Plaintiffs. Docs. 187 at 2-6; 187-1; 187-2.
August 22, 2017, the Court granted in part Plaintiffs'
motion for summary judgment (Doc. 633) against Defendants
Jean Dorestant (Dorestant) and Belle Management, LLC (Belle
Management). Doc. 649. The following day, the Clerk entered
Judgment against Dorestant and Belle Management. Doc. 651.
September 29, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney
fees, costs, and expenses to be awarded against Defendants
Dorestant and Belle Management. Doc. 654.
November 2, 2017, the undersigned recommended that the Court
grant in part Plaintiffs' motion for default judgment
(Doc. 632) against Defendants Shenika Richardson, Vladimir
Jean Pierre, Chanel Akins, Robert Cohen, Jean Cassamajor,
Elaine Felix, Esdras Pierre Louis, Edner Desir, and Shayla
Gaines (the Default Defendants). Doc. 657. The undersigned
further recommended that the Court grant Plaintiffs' and
Defendant Robert Thelusma's joint motion for entry of
judgment (Doc. 656). Id. The Court adopted the
undersigned's recommendations. Doc. 660.
November 30, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney
fees, costs, and expenses to be awarded against the Default
Defendants. Doc. 658.
December 27, 2017, the Court denied Plaintiffs motions for
attorney fees, costs, and expenses to be awarded against
Dorestant, Belle Management, and the Default Defendants
(collectively “Defendants”). Doc. 659. The Court
noted that Plaintiffs did not inform the Court how they would
like the attorney fees and costs to be apportioned among
Defendants, or provide the Court with any information or
argument that the Court could use to determine how the Court
should apportion the attorney fees and costs among the
Defendants. Id. The Court further noted that
Plaintiffs did not attach their attorneys' detailed
billing records or supporting documentation necessary for the
Court to rule on Plaintiffs' request for costs.
Id. The Court thus denied Plaintiffs motions and
ordered Plaintiffs to file a single motion for attorney fees
that addresses the issues identified by the Court.
January 22, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their Motion in Support of
Reasonable Attorney's Fees, Costs, and Expenses relative
to GEICO's Granted Motion for Summary Judgment
(See Doc. 649) and Default Judgment (See
Doc. 660) (the Motion). Doc. 663. In the Motion, Plaintiffs
ask the Court to award $1, 788, 517.63 in attorney fees and
$56, 359.81 in reasonable costs jointly and severally against
Defendants. Id. To date, Defendants have not
responded or objected to Plaintiffs' request.
Entitlement to Attorney Fees
U.S.C. § 1964(c) provides as follows:
Any person injured in his business or property by reason of a
violation of section 1962 of this chapter may sue therefor in
any appropriate United States district court and shall
recover threefold the damages he sustains and the cost of the
suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee, except that
no person may rely upon any conduct that would have been
actionable as fraud in the purchase or sale of securities to
establish a violation of section 1962. . . .
Plaintiffs prevailed against Defendants under 18 U.S.C.
§ 1962. See Docs. 649; 657; 660. And Defendants
did not object to Plaintiffs' alleged entitlement to
attorney fees and costs. Accordingly, the undersigned finds
that Plaintiffs are entitled to attorney fees and costs
The Calculation of a Reasonable Attorney
Court uses the familiar “lodestar” method in
determining a reasonable fee award, which is calculated by
multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended by a
reasonable hourly rate. Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461
U.S. 424, 433 (1983). The party moving for fees has the
burden of establishing that the hourly rates and hours
expended are ...