A Bridgeport attorney was recently charged by a federal complaint with wire fraud related to his alleged theft of more than $900,000.
Thomas M. Murtha of Newtown was arrested on April 5 in Michigan and appeared before a judge in Bay City, Michigan before being released on a $10,000 bond.
As stated in the criminal complaint, Murtha operated a law practice under the name Maher & Murtha LLC in Bridgeport. Murtha allegedly defrauded five victims of a total of more than $900,000 beginning in approximately August 2015. As part of the scheme, Murtha misled one individual to invest more than $600,000, purportedly for real estate investments. He also was retained to handle real estate transactions on behalf of other victims and, instead of remitting funds to the appropriate parties, converted the funds to his own use.
Murtha allegedly told the individual in December 2015 that he needed an additional $100,000 to purchase a $1.5 million commercial property in Bethel, and that a buyer would purchase the property in four to six months to convert it to condominiums. After the individual wired the money, Murtha used the funds to instead purchase a $725,000 house under his own name in Birmingham, Michigan.
Murtha resigned from the bar in September 2016 after three grievance complaints were filed against him.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of wire fraud.