Miami attorney arrested as Coral Gables and Aventura bank robbery suspect

Dubbed a “serial bank robber” by the FBI, a Miami attorney is in federal custody after being charged with trying to rob five banks since Sept. 30 before his arrest this week.

Aaron Honaker, 41, successfully robbed only two of the five banks for a total of $1,850, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Miami federal court.

Coral Gables police said a detective driving in the downtown Miracle Mile area Tuesday evening spotted Honaker and took him into custody as he was on his way into another bank. The complaint says Honaker, arrested with a hammer and demand notes, admitted the TD Bank at 255 Alhambra Circle was next on his robbery attempt list.

Honaker, who is represented by the federal public defender’s office, had his first appearance in federal magistrate court in Miami Wednesday and remains in custody. Federal prosecutors are seeking to detain Honaker before trial, and a bond hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Honaker was charged by a criminal complaint, which means prosecutors will have to show they have probable cause to move forward with their case against him. If a judge makes that finding, then the U.S. Attorney’s Office will seek a grand jury indictment charging him with the Coral Gables bank robberies — most likely in November, when the grand jury reconvenes after being shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If he were to be indicted, Honaker would then be arraigned and enter his plea.

Here’s Honaker’s robbery attempts, according to the FBI:

Sept. 30 — Citibank, 396 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables.

The criminal complaint says Honaker, described as a 6-foot white male in his 30s, sat in the lobby for 15 minutes. He eventually handed a handwritten note to a teller warning against touching the alarm or calling the police while he asked for $10,000.

The teller said she told him she “didn’t have the money; it is in the machine.” Honaker left the bank with only his note.

Oct. 3 — Chase, 20880 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura.

The complaint says Honaker told the teller he wanted to make a withdrawal, but lacked his debit card. He said, however, this note he was handing her would have instructions on how to help him withdraw cash. This time, the note requested all the $50 bills and $100 bills in the teller’s drawer be put in an envelope.

The teller did as asked. Honaker left with his note and $1,050.

Oct. 5 — Wells Fargo, 2555 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.

This time, the complaint says, Honaker donned “a floppy hat and a blue, short-sleeved shirt” but kept a similar note. This one said, “Keep calm and give me all the money in the drawer. I have a gun.”

The teller feigned trouble with English, giving her an excuse to talk with her manager. While she informed her manager that the guy in the floppy hat was trying to rob them, Honaker backed away, appeared to get on his phone, then left the bank.

What the FBI says is an attempted robbery of a Coral Gables’ Wells Fargo branch on Oct. 5.
What the FBI says is an attempted robbery of a Coral Gables’ Wells Fargo branch on Oct. 5.

Oct. 10 — Chase, 355 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables.

The complaint says Honaker went back to asking for “$50s and $100s.” And he walked out with $800.

Thursday, Oct. 15 — HSBC, 2222 Ponce De Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.

This time, the complaint says, Honaker’s note confused the teller.

The teller “glanced at the note and, without realizing its true meaning, asked [Honaker] to fill out a withdrawal slip first because she needed an account number.”

So, Honaker did. On the withdrawal slip, he wrote, “read the note.” The note asked for all $100s, $50s and $20s.

The teller told Honaker, “The bank kept its cash in counting machines” so she couldn’t give him what he wanted, according to the complaint.

He left.

Photo released by the FBI of the Oct. 15 robbery at an HSBC bank branch in Coral Gables. The FBI believes this was Aaron Honaker.
Photo released by the FBI of the Oct. 15 robbery at an HSBC bank branch in Coral Gables. The FBI believes this was Aaron Honaker.

Online image vs. reality

Like most online profiles, Honaker’s seem designed to project a favorable image. His crafted image, however, clashed with reality.

Both his LinkedIn page and Florida Bar profile say he’s with the Coral Gables-based firm of Martinez Morales. But a Wednesday afternoon email to the Miami Herald from name partner Raul Morales said Honaker disappeared two years ago and never returned to work.

Morales said he’s since tried to get his firm’s name removed from Honaker’s Bar profile.

Similarly, both his LinkedIn and Florida Bar online profiles claim he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2006, his LinkedIn page loaded with claims of honors gained while at Duke Law.

But an email from Duke University to the Miami Herald said there’s no record that Aaron Honaker ever went there.

On Thursday, the Florida Bar said it has removed the reference to Duke University School of Law under Honaker’s name on the organization’s web site. The state Bar also confirmed that it has opened an investigation and is monitoring the federal case against Honaker.

In reality, Honaker graduated from Wake Forest School of Law in 2005, the university told the Herald Thursday..

Honaker’s LinkedIn page also says he worked at Greenberg Traurig from 2006-2011, which the firm said Wednesday was actually 2008 to 2011.

Before working at Martinez Morales, Honaker was one of the first attorneys at newly formed Salazar Jackson in 2012. The firm, now known as Salazar Law, still has a piece of the South Florida Business Journal article mentioning Honaker on its website.

Those are the only three employers mentioned on Honaker’s detailed LinkedIn profile.

A Jacksonville Daily Record brief from 2006 announces his and another associate’s hiring at Stutsman, Thames & Markey, a work stop some of his profiles list. Another database said he was at the Brickell law firm Bilzen Sumberg in 2008 and 2011. Other profiles say he worked for Infante Zumpano, a Coral Gables law firm, in 2012.

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