15 Sep 2014
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Dentist Trial: Lawyers Present Closing Arguments

Jury begins deliberations in case against Dr. Hamada Makarita

Dentist Trial: Lawyers Present Closing Arguments

The fate of Dr. Hamada Makarita now rests in the hands of 12 jury members, as lawyers for the Oakton dentist and U.S. government completed oral arguments Thursday morning.

Makarita, 51, is facing charges of  The dentist, who owns a practice on Chain Bridge Road in Oakton, pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.  

Special Assistant United States Attorney Mazen Basrawi presented the federal government's closing argument Thursday to U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, reiterating its opening that the case is about abuse of power.

He led the jury through all 15 counts levied against Makarita, rejecting the notion the dentist's former office manager, Karen Derder, committed the crimes without his knowledge and consent.

"He knew exactly what was going on and he did it for his own gain," Basrawi said.

James Tate, of the Vienna firm Tate, Bywater and Fuller, argued the prosecution failed to present its key witness, Derder, as a credible source, citing her status as a convicted felon and Makarita's assertion she threatened to "bring [him] down" after he fired her for allegedly embezzling from his 401k in April 2010.

Tate said Derder developed a "sophisticated scheme" throughout her years as his office manager, building a safety net to shift the blame to Makarita if she ever got caught.

"[She did it] to make sure she had something on him," Tate said. "... She needed that immunity letter."

The jury entered deliberations around 2 p.m. Thursday, and broke at 5:30 p.m. to continue deliberations 9:30 a.m. Friday.

Related Coverage

  • Dentist Trial: Makarita Takes the Stand
  • Dentist Trial: Defense Attacks Former Employee's Credibility
  • Dentist Trial: Experts Begin Testimony for Prosecution
  • Dentist Trial: Both Sides Argue Abuse of Power
  • Oakton Dentist Pleads Not Guilty
  • Grand Jury Indicts Oakton Dentist on 15 Charges
  • Accused Dentist Says Witness Is Fired Employee
  • Oakton Dentist Arrested for Distributing Narcotics

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