Florida attorney arrested as Miami ‘serial bank robber,’ FBI says

Florida attorney arrested as Miami ‘serial bank robber,’ FBI says

MIAMI — A Florida attorney was identified by the FBI as a “serial bank robber” and was arrested as he was walking into a bank and later charged with trying to rob five banks in two weeks throughout the Miami area.

Investigators said Aaron Honaker, 41, successfully robbed two of five banks for $1,850, the Miami Herald reported. Honaker was spotted by police Tuesday and taken into custody as he was walking into a bank. He had a hammer and demand notes on him when he was arrested.

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Honaker is being represented by a public defender in federal court. His first appearance was Wednesday. He remains in federal custody. A bond hearing is Friday.

Honaker was charged by a criminal complaint in federal court. Prosecutors will have to show probable cause to move the case forward. If a judge rules in their favor, the U.S. Attorney’s Office would then seek a grand jury indictment. That would likely be in November when it reconvenes because of the coronavirus pandemic. If Honaker is indicted, he would then be arraigned and enter a plea.

According to the FBI, Honaker’s spree started Sept. 30 when he entered a Coral Gables Citibank. He sat in the lobby for about 15 minutes before approaching a teller with a handwritten note. In the note, he asked for $10,000. When the teller told him she didn’t have any money, he left with his note.

Investigators said Honaker then walked into a Chase bank in Aventura on Oct. 3 and told a teller he would like to make a withdrawal but did not have a debit card. Honaker handed the teller a note and said it would have instructions on how he could access his money. The note demanded all the $50s and $100s in the teller’s drawer. The teller complied and Honaker left with $1,050.

Then, on Oct. 5, Honaker went into a Coral Gables Wells Fargo with a note reading: “Keep calm and give me all the money in the drawer. I have a gun,” officials said. The teller pretended she could not speak English well and went to talk to a manager. Honaker then walked away from the counter, pretended to be on his phone and left.

The FBI said Honaker next went to a Chase bank in Coral Gables on Oct. 10 with a note demanding $50s and $100s. The teller complied and he left with $800.

Investigators said Honaker went to the HSBC in Coral Gables on Oct. 15 with a note that confused the teller who handed him a withdrawal slip because she needed an account number. Honaker wrote another note on the withdrawal slip, “read the note,” which asked for all the $100s, $50s and $20s. The teller said the money was kept in counting machines and Honaker left.

Honaker’s education and experience as an attorney raised some questions.

A LinkedIn and Florida Bar profile showed he works at the Martinez Morales law firm. A partner at the law firm confirmed Honaker did work there. However, the firm said Honaker left two years ago and had not been seen since. Before then, he worked at Salazar Law when it first formed in 2012, although another profile listing shows he was at Infante Zumpano in 2012.

His LinkedIn profile showed he worked for Greenberg Traurig from 2006 to 2011. The firm said he did work there but from 2008 to 2011. A news article from 2006 indicates he was hired by Stutsman, Thames & Markey. LinkedIn showed he was at Bilzen Sumberg in 2008 and 2011.

The professional profiles also show he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2006. However, the school has no record that Honaker attended there, the Herald reported. However, a Wake Forest University alumni page indicates he did graduate from Wake Forest School of Law.

The state bar association said it is monitoring the case.