By Rich Pollack
David Del Rio, the financial adviser from Florida’s West Coast charged with siphoning close to $3 million from the life savings of a Highland Beach widow found murdered, has been released on bail after being locked up since mid-September.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley originally set bail at $463,000 in November for Del Rio, but put a hold on Del Rio’s release until defense attorneys could prove money used to help post bail wasn’t obtained through unauthorized withdrawals from the account of Elizabeth “Betty” Cabral.
The body of Cabral, whose throat had been cut, was discovered in her Highland Beach condominium in April. No charges have been filed in the homicide.
On Jan. 2, Kelley agreed to lift the hold on Del Rio’s release after prosecutors agreed that money from nine friends and family members used to secure bail did not come from Cabral’s accounts.
“The defendant shall be permitted to post bond in the amount set on Nov. 9,” Kelley wrote in his order.
Under the terms of his release, Del Rio is on house arrest and cannot contact any members of Cabral’s family.
Among those putting up money to help secure bail were Anjelica Ortiz, Jose Ortiz and Daniel Ortiz — thought to be longtime friends of Del Rio — who contributed a combined $18,000.
Del Rio’s sister, Jennifer Alfaro, agreed to help, contributing $9,600. Relatives of Del Rio’s wife, Rose, also provided money.
All agreed to notify the court immediately if Del Rio, his wife or anyone on their behalf attempts to reimburse them.
The money from Del Rio’s family and friends, which amounted to just more than 10 percent of the total bail, was used to secure a bond from two companies — All County Bail Bonds and Big Mike’s Bail Bonds.
Matthew Jones, president of the Florida Bail Agents Association, said it is not uncommon for two companies to split the bail when it is set high.
“On larger bonds, I’ve definitely seen it done,” he said.
He said bond companies don’t always require 10 percent up front, with many accepting payment plans.
“Our job is to get people back to their families and jobs,” he said.
Del Rio, of Lee County, has been charged with several counts of grand theft, exploitation of the elderly, money laundering and fraudulent use of personal identification information stemming as far back as 2013. Del Rio worked as a financial adviser to Betty Cabral and her husband, William, who died in 2017.
Investigators said in court documents that Del Rio fraudulently changed Betty and William Cabral’s will, making himself the sole beneficiary of the estate.
Detectives are continuing to investigate Cabral’s murder and still have not allowed anyone to enter her unit in the Penthouse Highlands condominium, according to neighbors.