Pain & Gain

They were local bodybuilders with a penchant for steroids, strippers, and quick cash. And they became expert in the use of a peculiar motivational tool: Torture.

In May 1990, FBI agents had arrested Lugo at Scandinavian Health and Racquet Club in Kendall, where he worked as a salesman, making $600 per month. When the feds made him declare his worth, Lugo estimated that he made another $1200 per month in commissions. He pleaded guilty to fraud in January 1991, in Miami's U.S. District Court. As a requirement of his plea agreement, he also admitted to similar criminal activity in Oklahoma. (His victims' losses there totaled $230,000.) In his Acceptance of Responsibility statement to the court, Lugo wrote, "I hereby acknowledge my guilt and I know what I did was wrong. There is no substitute for hard work and I am a hard worker.... It will never happen again for I have learned not to use intelligence for wrong actions to justify the good end." But on that solemn occasion, he lied one more time, insisting to the court that he was a Fordham University graduate with a computer science degree (in fact he'd attended Fordham but left before graduating).

Despite that background John Mese hired him to manage, and revive, Sun Gym. And for a time it looked as though Lugo would do just that. The six-feet-two, 230-pounder certainly had the physique and the dynamic personality to attract new clients. Although he began as a personal trainer, he soon was promoted to general manager. And by the summer of 1994, Lugo had become the absolute centerpiece, the star in the Sun Gym universe. On the books, at least, business looked good.

Lugo's best buddy at the gym was Noel "Adrian" Doorbal. The two had met a few years before through a girl Lugo was working with at the time, Lucretia Goodridge. Doorbal, a cousin of Goodridge, recently had arrived from Trinidad and was living at her house while he got a feel for life in the States. A tenth-grade dropout, he worked as a fry-cook at Fiesta Taco in Kendall, riding a bicycle to and from work. Over time the two men took jobs as personal trainers in a series of Miami gyms. They were also constant, serious workout partners. After Lugo was released from Eglin and divorced from Lillian Torres, he married Goodridge. With her cousin added to the mix, he got a two-for-one deal: a spouse and a best friend, for better or worse.

Stevenson Pierre: Didn't have larceny in his heart
Stevenson Pierre: Didn't have larceny in his heart
Adrian Doorbal and the nurse who eventually became his wife
Adrian Doorbal and the nurse who eventually became his wife

Lugo soon hired Doorbal to work part time at Sun Gym. And Lugo did even more for his friend: He made him very rich. By January 1994 the 22-year-old Doorbal, whose visa had long since expired, was able to invest a million dollars in a Merrill Lynch mutual fund account. Truly amazing for the young, part-time personal trainer with just two clients, neither of them named Madonna or Stallone.

How did he get so rich? Almost immediately after Lugo was released from Eglin and hired by Mese, he met a weight lifter at Sun Gym who had an affinity for white-collar crime and also was fresh out of jail. Together they established ten phony medical companies, then rented dozens of mailboxes, many at the Lakes Postal Center in Miami Lakes. They bought names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, and other information about legitimate Medicare recipients for ten dollars apiece, and mailed fraudulent bills to the government for nonexistent medical services.

Lugo kept the lion's portion of their take, which was fine with his partner (he later told investigators he'd begun to fear for his life after hearing Lugo boast about hiring a hit man to kill a partner who'd crossed him). When they parted ways, Lugo deposited the ill-gotten gains into the mutual fund account under Doorbal's name; he was mindful of his probation, and he still owed his victims $71,200 in restitution.


During that summer of 1994, Carl Weekes decided to leave New York to straighten out his life. Miami was perhaps an odd destination for someone trying to steer clear of drugs and crime, like going to Las Vegas to kick a gambling habit.

Originally from Barbados, Weekes had been just one year in the Marine Corps when he threatened his sergeant's life. He was discharged in lieu of a court martial and returned home to Brooklyn, working intermittently and living off relatives. He committed house burglaries, as well as armed robberies of drug dealers, and became addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine.

When he was 30 years old, he suffered a seizure, entered rehab, got clean, and found Christianity. But he was still on welfare and his girlfriend was pregnant with their third child. She had a cousin in Miami, she said, a Haitian immigrant named Stevenson Pierre. Perhaps he could help Weekes start over. Weekes figured he might as well try. He'd save some money, then bring his family down to join him. He left New York on his 31st birthday.

Pierre didn't especially like Weekes, whom he'd met several times at family gatherings. He thought Weekes was spoiled and impulsive, a braggart and a brat. But family was family, so he offered room and board, and the promise of a job at the gym where he was employed.

Pierre, who had once worked as a credit analyst and skip tracer for American Express in New York City, was on the Sun Gym payroll. Daniel Lugo had hired him in February 1994 to create a collection agency for overdue membership payments. The plan ended abruptly two months later, when the 26-year-old Pierre announced it would take more than a hundred grand to become incorporated, licensed, and bonded. He stayed on staff, however, as back-office manager in the weight room, supervising the personal trainers and exhorting the weight lifters to get bigger, stronger: no pain, no gain. But Pierre, who clocked in at five feet five and just 130 pounds, hardly cut an inspirational figure at Sun Gym. Before long he was little more than a desk clerk.

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6 comments
opps411
opps411

 what about the wives and girlfriends ( Lucretia Goodridge
 , are you honestly going to act like you didn't know your husband and father of your kids  was  sleeping with strippers and a murderer and your own cousin  Doorbal is living in your house, even after you see a guy getting tortured for days, and calling yourself a Buddhist and not reporting that .. i guess you enjoyed the finer things in life alil too much ,, some things never change .......       horrible to make a movie to desensitize the reality of these victims pain and their kids really do not deserve this.. i hope someone gets hit with a lawsuit.. and the actors    dont you guys know how to thk for yourself ..   or are just acting like mindless assholes did you read the court docs? smh  


josy_infante
josy_infante

wow....unbelievable true story, these guys who did this have frontal lobe brain damage! they must have because nobody with a conscious would ever dream of this scheme, and its a pure miracle schiller survived, but death for them is too easy, they should not die, they should be tortured every single day with huge "real" sex toys, dying would be too easy, too nice for them.

MARITZAE76
MARITZAE76

I SAW THE MOVIE 2-DAY AND I CANT BELIEVE HOW STUPID THESE FUCKING IDIOTS ARE/WERE. OMG I HOPE THEY GET WHAT THEIR DUMB ASSES DESERVE. THEY ARE WORSE THAN SCUM. I FEEL SORRY 4 THEIR KIDS

patti89
patti89

Mese was one of my patients years ago when I worked in the Prison as a nurse. Since I left, Mese died in prison.

jkorn_jk
jkorn_jk

i hope they get the needle before the movie comes out , sun gym and its employees were scum ....

 
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