Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D., 1973

University of South Florida, B.A., 1969

Photo of Lee  Fugate

Lee Fugate


Litigator Lee Fugate handles complex white collar fraud, representing individuals, physicians, attorneys, and corporate officers.

He has served as lead trial counsel in federal cases related to public corruption, defense contract fraud, drug smuggling, racketeering, bank fraud, and continuing criminal enterprise violations.

Lee’s practice also focuses on the representation of individuals and corporate executives in federal grand jury investigations and prosecutions regarding EPA violations, bank fraud, defense contract fraud, mail fraud, health care fraud, and RICO violations.

Before entering private practice, Lee served as a state prosecutor in Florida. In that position, he was involved in trials dealing with complex public corruption, racketeering, and complex narcotics smuggling cases.

  • Defended a federal wrongful death action against parishioners of a religious organization in which summary judgment was entered for the defendants.
  • Represents a pharmacist in an ongoing federal investigation in the Middle District of Florida.
  • Represented a defendant in the multi-level marketing fraud trial involving infomercial personality William McCorkle in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. While a jury found McCorkle guilty of 82 fraud and money-laundering charges, our client was acquitted of the fraud-conspiracy charge against him.
  • Represented a defendant in the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute (CCE) and RICO trial involving a convicted drug kingpin in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Lee’s client was acquitted of all but one count and we obtained a reversal of the only count of conviction in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Represented a religious organization in a case regarding the death of one of its parishioners. The criminal charges were dismissed.
  • Defended a Tampa-based private security firm in both a federal criminal investigation and False Claims Act lawsuit.
  • Represented a medical device company and its principal in a federal False Claims Act suit filed by a qui tam relator. A former independent sales representative had alleged that the company fraudulently promoted the sale of a spinal decompression device, resulting in physicians submitting false claims for payment. The court dismissed the suit with prejudice.
  • Represented a south Florida energy company in resolving state and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criminal investigations regarding the alleged rigging of an environmental compliance system, and creation of alleged false records and reports. We conducted an outside counsel internal investigation into carbon feed issues discovered by the company, and self-reported to the authorities.
  • Represented the only defendant acquitted in the RICO and drug trafficking trial involving former Major League Baseball pitcher Denny McLain in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
  • Defended the principal of a contract administration company in a criminal fraud investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the primary food-service contracts for the troops in Iraq. We defended the client against a multimillion-dollar arbitration claim and he has not been criminally charged.
  • Represents the former executive of a major public health care insurance company in connection with federal health care fraud charges. The indictment involves complex legal and accounting issues regarding the Florida Medicaid behavioral health care program. A related civil suit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleges fraud, false filings, and related violations of the Securities Act.


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Founding Member of the Goldberg Inn of Court (First Criminal Inn for Federal/State Judges/Prosecutors and Defense Lawyer)