Thomas M. Murtha, who operated the now-closed law firm Maher & Murtha LLC in Bridgeport, has pleaded guilty in Hartford federal court to one count of wire fraud related to his theft of more than $1.3 million from victims.
According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in approximately November 2011, Murtha stole at least $1.3 million from more than 20 individuals, including law clients, friends and family members. More than $516,000 of the stolen funds were for the benefit of an individual 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 revealed that Murtha used some of the stolen funds in connection with the purchase of a $725,000 house in Birmingham, Michigan, where he now lives.
In September 2016, Murtha resigned from the bar after three grievance complaints were filed against him. He was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on April 5, 2017, and a grand jury returned a multi-count indictment against him on Aug. 16 of that year.
Murtha, who was released on a a $10,000 bond pending sentencing, has agreed to pay total restitution of at least $1,364,119.15 and to forfeit his interests in the house in Michigan and a 2.11 carat diamond engagement ring that the government seized.
He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea on Sept. 11, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.