Business Litigator Charged As Serial Bank Robber In Florida

When a detective on October 20th spotted a man who looked like a serial bank robber being pursued by police, they quickly deduced that they had the right man from prepared notes for bank tellers and a ball-peen hammer in his waistband. They also learned that the suspect, Aaron Patrick Honaker, 41, is a lawyer who previously represented parties in business and creditor cases.

Honaker is accused of using the same tactics in the attempted robbery or robbery of six banks. He would allegedly pass a hand-written note to the teller with instructions like“[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.”

What is striking is that he does not appear to have made much from the robberies.

Honaker has been a Florida bar member since January 2008. He lists his law school degree as coming from Duke University School of Law in 2006, but a Duke spokesman told WPLG-TV there is no record of such a degree.  Instead, he appears to have graduated from Wake Forest University in December 2005. It is a curious lie since Wake Forest is a respected national law school in its own right.  Moreover, Honaker’s colleagues spoke highly of him as an intelligent and even brilliant lawyer.

According to WFOR-TV, he has previous arrests for petty larceny, forgery and battery.

Yet, Martindale.com described Honaker as a business litigator and trial lawyer: “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.”

According to Heavy, it lists the following cases where he was counsel:

• 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 is being prosecuted in the federal system and is looking at a considerable amount of jail time, if convicted.  Under Section 2113, each count can bring 20 years. The problem for defense counsel is that, as an officer of the court, he can expect little mercy from the court. His position as an attorney works against him on every level — with a jury, with the court, and with the public. He is accused of crossing sides from upholding the law to breaking it and that does not play well in the court of law.

I expect that the case will reveal a troubled life before his arrest. We have often seen such criminal conduct by lawyers tied to drug abuse or psychological problems. His best defense could be a proven drug or psychological problem (if available) combined with a plea.

Much like the lawyers arrested recently throwing Molotov cocktails at police, it is hard to watch the fall of people who worked so hard to earn their law degrees and practice law. In the New York cases, the attorneys were clearly motivated by extremist ideology. Here the motivation could prove more complex. He was not making much in these robberies.  He was unsuccessful in some attempts and in another walked away with only $1050. 

The only thing that is clear is that this is unlikely to end well for Honaker.

 

 

20 thoughts on “Business Litigator Charged As Serial Bank Robber In Florida”

  1. It’s so sad to see someone fall from grace. One wonders if it was a drug addiction, or what else the driver could have been.

  2. This fool probably had a dope habit. And no imagination.

    there’s tons of ways to earn money as a lawyer. representing poor people charged with crimes for the county is an easy gig
    but if he had any experience with crime, then he would not have picked this lame stunt.

    think about this: if he had the brass to rob a bank then showing up collecting credit card debts in small claims court would have been an easy gig instead

    I have a seen a lot of lawyers flame out over decades, sometimes people I really liked, decent folks.

    this is a very strange story fit for the year of the Rat, 2020

  3. To his credit, he had the foresight to wear a Covid mask, so that he can’t also be charged with attempted murder.

  4. What the heck does a hammer have to do with this? Did he pose a risk to a teller, I’ll smash your pinky finger? And another question about the hammer how many ounces was it? This poor soul lost his way what a shame!

    1. Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical
      Science in the home
      Late nights all alone with a test tube
      Oh, oh, oh, oh
      Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine
      Calls her on the phone
      “Can I take you out to the pictures
      Joa, oa, oa, oan?”
      But as she’s getting ready to go
      A knock comes on the door

      Back in school again Maxwell plays the fool again
      Teacher gets annoyed
      Wishing to avoid an unpleasant
      Sce, e, e, ene
      She tells Max to stay when the class has gone away
      So he waits behind
      Writing fifty times “I must not be
      So, o, o, o”
      But when she turns her back on the boy
      He creeps up from behind

      P. C. Thirty-one said, “We caught a dirty one”
      Maxwell stands alone
      Painting testimonial pictures
      Oh, oh, oh, oh
      Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery
      Say he must go free
      (Maxwell must go free)
      The judge does not agree and he tells them
      So, o, o, o
      But as the words are leaving his lips
      A noise comes from behind

      Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
      Came down upon his head
      Bang! Bang! Maxwell’s silver hammer
      Made sure that he was dead
      Whoa, oh, oh, oh
      Silver hammer man

      – Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, Beatles, 1969

  5. “When a detective on October 20th spotted a man who looked like a serial bank robber being pursued by police, they quickly deduced that they had the right man from prepared notes for bank tellers and a ball-peen hammer in his waistband. They also learned that the suspect, Aaron Patrick Honaker, 41, is a lawyer who previously represented parties in business and creditor cases.”
    ***************************
    Some would argue there’s not much difference.

    Bada boom! Tip your waitress.

  6. I think you meant to say ball-peen or ball pien hammer, not ball point hammer. Probably spell-check confused again.

    1. Wake Forest U is one of the most expensive medical schools in the country. Since it is private I imagine their law school is just as expensive. What is curious about his case is that he had stopped showing up for work 2 years ago, (see the first link), then had battery/domestic abuse charges in 2019 resulting in no conviction. Yet, at age 41 he had no one to check on him.

      Likely a victim of our American culture where personal, intimate relationships are the exception, and Americans pretend they can live in solitude “did it my way”.

  7. Look at the bright side….as it is an ill Wind that blows no Good.

    Upon serving a very long sentence in the Federal Prison system….he can provide Pro Bono Legal services to the other Inmates and thus do some good for free.

    Lawyers love to brag of their Pro Bono work….and this would serve as a way of him to show his having earned some redemption for his crimes.

    1. He didn’t make much as a band robber, but perhaps his “hourly rate” was higher than his law practice?

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