The preparation of a series of cyclopentadienyl(N,N-dialkyldithiocarbamato)cobalt(III) complexes, CpCo(S2CNR2)X (R = CH3, C2H5; X = I, N02, N03) and [CpCo(S2CN(CH3)2)L]X (L = Ph3P, X = I, BF4; L = CH3CN, X = BF4), is described. Mixtures of CpCo(S2CN(CH3)2)NO2 and BF3-Et2O were found to oxidize benzyl alcohol to benzaldehyde. The reaction is stoichiometric in the absence of oxygen. Benzyl alcohol is also oxidized by mixtures of CpCo(S2CN(CH3)2)N03, PPNN02, and PPNN03 (PPN = (Ph3P)2N) with BF3-Et2O. The oxidations by the nitrate species are catalytic in the presence of oxygen. The detailed results rule out mechanisms for the metal nitro complex reactions that involve metal-bound nitrogen oxide ester intermediates. A mechanism in which NO2- reacts with BF3 to give the actual oxidant is proposed.