LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The State Attorney’s Office investigators arrested Sebastian John Balliro on Wednesday, following an investigation into several of his businesses, including Balliro’s law offices in Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale.
Balliro is charged in three separate cases with four counts of Grand Theft over $100,000, each a First Degree Felony; three counts of Organized Scheme to Defraud of over $50,000, each a First Degree Felony; two counts of Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information to Defraud over $100,000, each a First Degree Felony; and one count of Grand Theft, a Third Degree Felony. First degree felonies carry a maximum of 30 years Florida State Prison; Third degree felonies carry a maximum of five years in prison.
Balliro is accused of committing the various crimes between the period of October 2010 and April 2012. The crimes involve three separate situations. In one, Balliro is accused of stealing the identity of his law partner to fraudulently purchase vehicles. In another, he is accused of defrauding a client of over $100,000. He is also accused of defrauding investors in pain clinics and the now defunct Racks and Tails restaurant, as well as a Wolfgang Puck franchise. The aggregate amount alleged stolen in these instances is in excess of $830,000.
In addition to the Lee County charges, he will be charged in Broward County with several offenses involving frauds and thefts related to his law practice there.
Balliro was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998. He was suspended in September 2011 and disbarred by the Supreme Court of Florida in April 2012.
After being taken into custody this afternoon, Balliro tried to jump out of a moving car. He has been taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons.