Local attorney pinched on alleged embezzlement

Attorney Michael Hayes is alleged to have embezzled money from clients. He turned himself over to police on Nov. 15.

Local attorney Michael Hayes surrendered himself to Milford police on Nov. 15 after police issued two warrants for his arrest on embezzlement charges. According to a police statement, two complaints involving Hayes were recently brought to police attention.

Police say their investigators met with one alleged victim in August and that the victim indicated that Hayes allegedly withheld funds in excess of $125,000 from a life insurance policy for her deceased spouse.

According to police, the woman alleges she met with Hayes in June 2012 to discuss her finances and was then informed that there was “no money.” She was told that Hayes had invested those funds into a property in Milford and that Hayes had refused to identify the whereabouts of the property to the victim.

Police say that while conducting their investigation, it was discovered that Hayes had registered a limited liability company “16 Corona Circle Associates,” and that a cash purchase of a residential property at that address was made in June.

Police are alleging that Hayes, 53, of Orange, used funds from another client’s account during the aforementioned transaction to replenish a portion of the funds withheld from the victim. Police are saying that Hayes used the embezzled funds to purchase the Corona Circle property so that he could renovate and flip the property that was placed back on the market.

As a result of the complaint, police investigators executed a search warrant at the Cherry Street Law Offices of Meuser, Eckenrode and Hayes in September. Police say they discovered additional evidence and information pertaining to the alleged criminal activities of Hayes.

Police say they eventually met with a second victim, who police say Hayes embezzled $50,326 from in October. According to police, Hayes had indicated to that person that they had bought a house together and to keep it “hush-hush.”

The alleged victim told police that Hayes had conveyed to her that she would get an interest check in November or he would sell the property.

As a result of the investigations, police said they determined that Hayes did not complete any legal documents or agreements with the two victims regarding the borrowing of funds from them to purchase any real estate.

Police are charging Hayes with two counts of first-degree embezzlement. Hayes was released on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear at Milford Superior Court on Nov. 27.

Police are encouraging anyone with concerns regarding activities involving Attorney Hayes to contact Detective Nash at 203-783-4730 or email rnash@ci.milford.ct.us

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