Florida Attorney Suspended Over 31 Complaints, Now If Someone Could Just Find Him...
Clients of Tampa attorney José Angel Toledo claim he abandoned his law practice, without giving any notice that they should find new representation. After months of unanswered phone calls and visits to Toledo's office where they met a locked door, 31 people filed complaints with the Florida Bar demanding his suspension. On October 23, the Florida Supreme Court obliged.
Unfortunately, no one seems to know where he is.
Show Me the Money
It seems Toledo's disappearing act might be tied to dubious finances, with Toledo on the hook for quite a few debts. Many of Toledo's personal injury clients say he withheld their settlements, leaving them with nothing. Plus, he owes his ex-wife Jackie Toledo more than $100,000 in unpaid family support, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Vanishing Act
Around March, clients attempting to contact Toledo began hearing a variety of excuses: he was out of the office, or on vacation, or in the hospital, or the office was being fumigated. Eventually, calls went straight to voicemail. And soon after that, Toledo's phone line was disconnected altogether.
The Florida Bar began investigating client complaints in July, but investigators were unable to locate Toledo. When a bar investigator gained access to Toledo's office in September, there were still nine filing cabinets filled with client files sitting in the empty office. Court documents filed by Jackie Toledo's attorneys in August speculated that Toledo may have left the country.
At present, Toledo is suspended from practicing law and has been instructed to stop withdrawing money from any trust account related to his practice. Whether Toledo is aware of this or even cares, is anyone's guess.
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