TALLAHASSEE (Florida Record) — Coral Gables attorney Nelson Israel Alfaro faces voluntary disbarment following a Nov. 7 Florida Supreme Court order and his federal indictment late last summer on conspiracy and other charges, according to a recent announcement by The Florida Bar.
"On Aug. 29, an indictment filed in federal court charged Alfaro with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer," the state bar said in its Nov. 26 announcement of the discipline and the Supreme Court's order. "Alfaro tendered an instant petition for disciplinary revocation in response to those pending criminal charges."
Alfaro and Gilberto Eduardo De Los Rios of Miami are alleged to have "concocted a scheme" to sell a client access to information that would make them appear to be cooperating in exchange for a lesser sentence, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.
The indictment against Alfaro and De Los Rios, which followed an FBI investigation and initially was issued under seal, was unsealed Sept. 11, according to the news release.
In its two-page order, state Supreme Court approved Alfaro's uncontested petition for disciplinary revocation, tantamount to disbarment, with leave to seek readmission after five years. His suspension will be effective 30 days from the date of the court's order to allow him time to close his practice and protect his existing clients' interests, according to the high court's order. Florida court orders are not final until time to file a rehearing motion expires. Filing such a motion does not alter the effective date of Alfaro's disbarment.
The court also ordered Alfaro to pay $1,250 in costs.
Attorneys disbarred in Florida generally cannot reapply for admission for five years and must pass an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam.
Alfaro was admitted to the bar in Florida on June 26, 2006, according to his profile at the state bar website. Alfaro had no prior history of discipline before the state bar, according to his petition for disciplinary revocation.
"Alfaro and De Los Rios concocted a scheme to charge an already-sentenced defendant tens of thousands of dollars for information that they then fraudulently presented as 'cooperation' and 'substantial assistance' by the defendant in order to trigger a motion to the court for a sentencing reduction," the DOJ news release said. "The indictment also charges Alfaro and De Los Rios with obstructing justice by interfering with the sentencing process and with making multiple false statements to federal agents."