On Wednesday, November 15, 2023, the Florida Bar formally requested for the emergency suspension of Miami attorney Hector Acosta Carrillo from the practice of law after finding that he caused immediate and serious harm to clients through misuse of client funds held in his trust account.

The case is titled ‘The Florida Bar v. Hector M. Acosta Carrillo, Jr.’ with Florida Bar File No. 2023-70,476(11P)(MES).

The cited misconduct involves trust account violations committed by Attorney Acosta Carrillo. The petition alleged that an audit of the attorney’s trust account found a shortage ranging between $250 to $10,040 from February to May 2023.

The Florida Bar sought Attorney Acosta Carrillo’s suspension. According to the Bar’s petition and supporting affidavit from auditor Matthew Herdecker, the shortage was caused by 15 unauthorized withdrawals from the trust account during that period as well as a transfer of trust funds to Acosta Carrillo’s personal checking account.

When the Bar first contacted Attorney Acosta Carrillo about two returned checks in April, he claimed it was a clerical error but did not provide proper documentation. The subsequent audit uncovered further improper transfers and recordkeeping violations. Between February 27th and May 30th, there was a shortage in the account ranging from $250 to $10,040. This was partly due to 15 unauthorized withdrawals from February to April totaling several thousand dollars.

When probed, Attorney Acosta Carrillo failed to give a reasonable explanation. It became clear client funds had been misappropriated. Additionally, the audit found his trust accounting records were not being properly maintained as required by the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

On November 15, 2023, the Bar filed an emergency petition seeking to suspend Attorney Acosta Carrillo from practice, arguing he posed an immediate threat of harm to clients. The petition detailed the shortage, improper withdrawals and transfers, incomplete records, and misrepresentation made during the annual bar certification process when he wrongly claimed to be in compliance with trust accounting rules.

Attorney Acosta Carrillo has 30 days to request dissolution or amendment of the suspension order by showing cause why it should be modified or dissolved. Otherwise, emergency suspensions typically remain in place until the final resolution of all bar charges through the referee process.

In part, the petition reads:

“WHEREFORE, based on the aforementioned facts, the bar asserts respondent has caused, or is likely to cause, immediate and serious harm to clients and/or the public and that immediate action must be taken for the protection of respondent’s clients and the public. Therefore, pursuant to Rule 3-5.2, The Florida Bar respectfully requests this court to suspend the respondent from the practice of law until further order of this court.”

According to Avvo, Attorney Heactor Accosta Carillo is a criminal defense attorney based in Miami, Florida. He attended St. Thomas University School of Law, graduating in 2018. He acquired his license in 2019.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.