- Name: BALLIRO, SEBASTIAN JOHN
- Charge: 4 COUNTS OF LARC (GRAND 1ST DEGREE 100K DOLS MORE OR LEO SEMI), 2 COUNTS OF FRAUD-IMPERSON (USE ID OF ANOTHER WO CONSENT 50K DOLS MORE), 3 COUNTS OF FRAUD-SWINDLE (OBTAIN PROPERTY 50K DOLS OR MORE), LARC - GRAND THEFT 300 LESS THAN 5K DOLS
- Residence: NAPLES, FL
- Age: 41
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A disbarred 41-year-old Fort Myers attorney died Friday afternoon in a single cell in the Lee County jail, officials said.
Sebastian John Balliro was discovered unresponsive at 12:29 p.m. Medical personnel and EMS attempted to revive Balliro but were unsuccessful.
His death is being investigated as a suicide, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which released no information on the manner of death. The Major Crimes Unit is investigating until it receives autopsy results.
Balliro was arrested in May following a seven-month investigation into economic crimes. While being driven to jail on May 23, he jumped out of a moving car that belonged to a State Attorney’s Office investigator.
Balliro, who was in handcuffs at the time, was taken to an area hospital “for precautionary reasons,” Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said at the time.
Upon his release, he was taken to the Lee County jail, where he was being held on bonds totaling $271,500.
Balliro was accused in three separate crimes between October of 2010 and April of 2012: stealing his law partner’s identity to fraudulently purchase vehicles; defrauding a client of more than $100,000; and defrauding investors in pain clinics, a Wolfgang Puck franchise and the now-defunct Racks and Tails restaurant, Syoen said in a news release.
Investigators estimate Balliro stole $830,000 altogether.
Balliro, who also practiced law in Fort Lauderdale, faced 10 felony charges out of Lee County, including grand theft and organized scheme to defraud. State investigators also expected to charge Balliro for offenses in Broward County involving “frauds and thefts related to his law practice there,” Syoen said.
Balliro was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1998, but he was suspended on Sept. 7 and disbarred by the Supreme Court of Florida on April 20, state records show.