Aaron Honaker is a Miami, Florida, attorney who is accused of being a serial bank robber. Prosecutors say he was leading a double life: Successful business lawyer on the one hand; bank robber on the other.
“Federal prosecutors have charged 41-year-old Miami lawyer Aaron Patrick Honaker with committing a series of bank robberies and attempted bank robberies in South Florida over the past three weeks,” the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release. His full name is Aaron Patrick Honaker.
“The criminal complaint charges Honaker with robbing $1050 from an Aventura bank on October 3, and robbing $800 from a Coral Gables bank on October 10. It also charges him with attempting to rob four banks in Coral Gables around that same time,” the complaint alleges.
Local10 reported that he used to work at boutique law firms in Coral Gables and former co-workers described him as “highly intelligent,” disciplined, sharp and brilliant, with one saying, “I have no explanation as to how he got to this point.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Honaker Is Accused of Six Robbery Attempts, Passing a Threatening Note to Tellers, Authorities Say
According to allegations in the complaint affidavit, Honaker “followed a consistent approach during the six robbery attempts, two of which were successful: Honaker would enter each bank alone, walk up to a teller window, and ask the teller for assistance in making a withdrawal. Honaker would pass a note to the bank teller that contained hand-written instructions and warnings,” authorities said.
The warnings included, “[d]on’t touch the alarm or call the police,” “empty all of your $50s and $100s and put it in an envelope,” and “[k]eep calm, and give me all the money in the drawer, I have a gun,” the Department of Justice says.
“Honaker would take his note with him on the way out of the bank, says the affidavit,” the DOJ release says.
2. Authorities Caught Honaker When They Spotted Him Appearing to Case a Coral Gables Bank, DOJ Says
FBI Miami “issued law enforcement bulletins containing descriptions and bank surveillance images of the robber,” the DOJ alleges. According to the complaint, on October 20, officers “spotted a man matching the FBI bulletin descriptions who appeared to be casing the area around a Coral Gables bank. Officers approached the man and identified him as Honaker.”
Authorities further alleged:
At the time of his arrest, Honaker had a ball-point hammer tucked in his waistband and carried what appeared to be bank robbery demand notes and instructions on “how-to” commit bank robberies, says the affidavit. The affidavit also describes items that officers found inside Honaker’s backpack, including draft and final versions of two bank robbery notes.
Honaker has already had an initial appearance in court. Multiple agencies were involved in the investigation.
3. Honaker Graduated from Duke University Law School & Was in Good Standing With the Florida Bar
Honaker’s Bar Association listing says he was in good standing. It said that he practiced in Miami-Dade County and had no discipline history in the past 10 years.
The website said he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2006 and worked for a law firm called Martinez Morales as an associate. He’s no longer listed on that law firm’s website. He also wrote that he had an MBA from Duke. He listed many honors in college:
Activities and Societies: Editor; Moot Court Board; Finalist – Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; William I. Belk Scholar; CALI Excellence Award: Contracts, Civil Procedure; The Order of the Barrister…Golden Key National Honor Society; Beta Gamma Sigma – Business Honor Society; Delta Sigma Pi Award; Top Finance Major Medal Award; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
He’s listed as an attorney in seven cases in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. The cases are civil cases. One involved Coral Reed developments. On LinkedIn, he wrote that he had been with that firm for more than four years, writing, “I am a corporate/commercial lawyer and focus my practice on complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts. In addition to prevailing in major cases through dispositive motions, I have tried numerous trials to favorable verdicts and have wide-ranging arbitration experience. I am also a skilled problem-solver who searches for cost-effective and creative solutions to help clients achieve results consistent with their business objectives.” He previously worked for two Florida law firms.
According to the Miami Herald, Honaker is now represented by the federal public defender’s office.
The complaint says that, in one of the robberies, Honaker wore “a floppy hat and a blue, short-sleeved shirt.”
4. A Profile Describes Honaker as a Business Litigator Who Recovered Fraudulent Money Transfers
Martindale.com described Honaker as a business litigator and trial lawyer “who focuses his practice primarily upon the areas of business disputes, including complex commercial litigation, corporate reorganization, creditor’s rights, workouts, receiverships, and all matters related to corporate and commercial relationships in federal and state courts.”
The page adds: “In addition to prevailing in major cases through dispositive motions, Aaron has tried several cases to favorable verdicts. Most recently, Aaron was lead counsel in the successful efforts to investigate and recover the fraudulent transfer of millions of dollars overseas, including Switzerland, Hong Kong and the Isle of Man.”
The page continues:
Formerly an associate at a Top 10 international law firm, Aaron has extensive experience in a wide range of litigation matters in construction, e-commerce, electronics, energy, financial services, real estate, and retail industries. Aaron also has represented trustees and other fiduciaries in a variety of corporate bankruptcy proceedings and has extensive experience prosecuting and defending complex and substantial fraudulent transfer and other avoidance claims under federal and state law.
He was listed as the following:
• Member, The Florida Bar, Business Law Section
• Member, Bankruptcy Bar Association, Southern District of Florida
• Member, American Bar Association, Business Law and Sports and Entertainment Law Sections
• Member, American Bankruptcy Institute
• United Way of Miami-Dade â€“ Young Leaders Executive Committee (2009)
• Mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami
5. Honaker Represented Everything From Gaming Interests to Time Warner Inc.
Martindale.com lists these under “significant Representations” for Honaker:
• Represented Florida Gaming Centers, Inc. and Casino Miami Jai-Alai in sale of substantially all assets for $155 million through Bankruptcy Court approved auction process
• Represented trustee and successor agent to FDIC of 5th largest bank holding company failure in U.S. history and implemented plan of reorganization through a $1.6 billion equity infusion transaction with Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (now Bank of America, N.A.);
• Represented Bell Canada (as U.S. counsel) in the acquisition of all Canadian assets of Circuit City Stores, Inc., including over 750 retail operation stores throughout Canada;
• Represented Chapter 7 trustee of a foreign exchange trading company in avoiding and recovering over $9 million of fraudulent transfers for the benefit of the estate, including successful trial on the merits of a Section 548 avoidance action;
• Successfully defended Time Warner, Inc. and TMZ.com with respect to legal actions brought by Trustee for Lorraine Brooke Associates, Inc. estate (a Florida corporation established and operated by O.J. Simpson and family) in connection with the alleged publication of manuscript of O.J. Simpson book “If I Did It?”
He wrote the following articles:
• “Supreme Court Ruling Opens Floodgates to Negligence, Fraud Claims,” Daily Business Review, March 22, 2013
• “Virtual Abodes Considered for Serving Process,” Daily Business Review, July 27, 2012
• “Can E-Discovery, Social Media Obligations and Ethics be Friends?” Daily Business Review, http://www.law.com, September 19, 2012
• “DIY eDiscovery: Is Your Organization Ready for an Extreme Makeover?” Corporate Compliance Insights Magazine, February 13, 2013
Under volunteerism, he listed on LinkedIn that he was co-captain of the Southeast Florida Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association; was on the Younger Leader Executive Committee for the United Way of Miami-Dade; was a volinteer for United Way; was a menor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami, and worked for a center for the homeless as a tutor.