Putnam County man accepting money for legal advice now faces a felony charge

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. — A Putnam County man accepting money for legal advice is now facing a felony charge.


The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office said 33-year-old Albert Kalmay Ayala, who recently opened a “law office” in Palatka was arrested and charged on Wednesday with fraud by misrepresenting himself as qualified to practice law in the state of Florida.

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Police said he was accepting money for legal advice and representing clients.

Roger Chapman was one of them.

He said Albert told him he was a new lawyer in town, and he told Albert he needed a lawyer to help with an eviction issue.

“We just gave him a small job to do to see how he would work out,” Chapman said.

Chapman said after a couple weeks Albert was asking questions and they noticed something was not right.

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“The next set of questions he asked though were very well how should I address this, plaintiff and defendant, shouldn’t you know that?” Chapman said.

The arrest report reveals that a judge told Albert he is not legally able to practice law in Florida and told him he needs to “correct this issue that way he does not find himself in any legal trouble.”

Action News Jax Alexus Cleavenger asked Albert why that judge would find him not qualified to practice law in Florida.

“I have no idea what the judge alleged,” Albert said.

Action News Jax Alexus Cleavenger also asked Albert if he continued to represent clients while he was looking into his registrations.

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“Yes, obviously I didn’t stop my practice because nobody told me I couldn’t practice the law,” Albert said.

Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said there are certain requirements to become a lawyer.

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“You have to go through the Florida bar, you have to take a bar exam, you have to demonstrate a proficiency of not only understanding state law but the law in general,” Carson said.

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