A 62-year-old former attorney in Fairfield County is going to spend more than six years behind bars for stealing nearly $2 million from clients, friends and family members.
Thomas Murtha who previously had a law office in Bridgeport has been sentenced to 78 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud. He must also pay $1,994,467.15 in restitution.
Beginning in November 2011, through April 2017, Murtha stole the money from 20 individuals, including approximately $516,000 from a person with mental health issues. As part of the scheme, Murtha submitted false or forged documents to victims. He also incurred charges on credit cards in the names of others without their knowledge or permission.
The investigation would also reveal that Murtha used some of the stolen money to purchase a $725,000 home in Michigan, multiple show horses and other lavish expenses. As part of his plea agreement, Murtha agreed to forfeit his interests in the home and a 2.11-carat engagement ring that the government seized.
Murtha, a Newtown resident, resigned from the bar in September 2016 after three separate grievance complaints were filed against him. He was arrested last year on April 5 and a multi-count indictment was returned on Aug. 16. On May 30 this year, he pleaded guilty. Murtha remains released on bond and is ordered to report to the U.S. Marshals Service on Nov. 26 to begin serving his sentence.
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