Coral Gables attorney disbarred, ordered to pay more than $305,000 restitution

By Karen Kidd | Dec 4, 2017

Coral Gables attorney Aura Olivas has been disbarred following an Oct. 26 Florida Supreme Court order that also directed her to pay more than $305,000 in restitution to a client.

Olivas already was suspended, which meant her disbarment was effective immediately, according to the high court's two-page disbarment order, which also directed Olivas to pay almost $12,078 in costs.

Olivas is alleged to have intentionally misappropriated client trust funds and failed to respond to written Florida Bar Association inquiries and a subpoena ordering her produce trust account records, according to the state bar's petition for emergency suspension field in April. The high court granted that motion in April and then handed down another order the following month that found Olivas in contempt and suspended her pending full written response to the state bar's official inquiry and until further court order.

The Florida State Bar announced Olivas’ disbarment and the supreme court's order Nov. 21. In Florida, court orders are not final until after time to file a rehearing motion expires. Attorneys disbarred in the state may not re-apply for admission for five years and then they must pass through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.

Olivas was admitted to the bar in Florida on Sept. 19, 2002, according to her profile at the state bar website.

Olivas' May suspension followed a state bar petition for contempt that included information about the complaint filed by Olivas' former client and the state bar's demand for information concerning her client trust account. Olivas was ordered in early October 2016 to provide monthly bank statements, canceled checks, deposit slips, receipts and disbursement journals and monthly reconciliation, according to information included in the state bar's petition.  

The state bar received a letter date Oct. 18, 2016, from an attorney representing Olivas, saying Olivas then was out of the country "but is working on full production of these records and has represented that she is holding sufficient funds to satisfy the financial obligation at issue." The same attorney followed up with a letter to the state bar dated Oct. 26, 2016, in which the attorney withdrew as Olivas' counsel. Both letters are included with the state bar's petition.

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