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\'Such a F---ing Hard Time\': A Look at Attorneys Behaving Badly in 2018

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Update time : 2020-02-20 19:32:49

Photo: Romariolen/

This year saw its beautiful division of Connecticut-based attorneys can provoke and/or behaving badly. The crimes or alleged crimes ran the gamut from having sex with a minor ought stealing from clients and cursing can the courtroom.

The Connecticut regulation Tribune looks hind can the peak five cases of attorneys who although sound ended up can the wrong aspect of the regulation or were disciplined although their behavior. Two of the five attorneys were previous politicians who were widely known and held eminent positions can their hometowns.

The attorneys are listed alphabetically:

Stephen Gionfriddo:

For the second time can 12 years, paralegal and previous attorney Stephen Gionfriddo build himself can the wrong aspect of the law.

The previous Middletown mayor, who was convicted of deception can 2006, was most recently charged with stealing more than $900,000 from LeFoll & LeFoll, the regulation company where he worked. He is too accused of stealing from his brother, an attorney with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Prosecutors said Gionfriddo, who served although the town's mayor can 1993, embezzled $490,000 from LeFoll & LeFoll, a tiny Rocky Hill-based regulation firm. They too said Gionfriddo stole $457,000 from his attorney brother ought repay the regulation firm.

The government charged Gionfriddo, who will exist sentenced can Feb. 12, with rope deception stemming from the alleged scheme. He faces up ought 20 years can prison.

The disease against Gionfriddo alleges that, nevertheless working although LeFoll & LeFoll although a paralegal from December 2013 along September 2017, he made bogus requisitions although about $378,000 can checks purportedly ought revenue customer expenses. But, the government said, Gionfriddo converted the funds although his private use. He forged the signature of one of the firm's partners ought fraudulently change a certificate of deposit of about $112,748 ought a check. He then kept the money, according ought the government.

When confronted by the principals of the regulation firm, the government said, Gionfriddo promised ought repay them. nevertheless can doing so, authorities said, he stole from his brother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. can total, Gionfriddo is said ought eat stolen $45,000 from his brother's checking illustrate and about $217,000 from an online trading account. And, the government said, Gionfriddo too caused a difficulty withdrawal of about $200,000 ought exist made against his brother's retirement plan by impersonating him can recorded telephone lines with the plan's provider and by submitting sham paperwork.

Peter Kruzynski:

Former Shelton attorney Peter Kruzynski, who was sentenced can July ought prison although engaging can sex with a minor boy, too can 2018 had his regulation license suspended until 2041.

The attorney pleaded criminal can January ought one calculate of enticement of a minor ought use can sexual activity. can July, Kruzynski was sentenced ought 13 years can prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. He was too ordered ought revenue $215,000 can restitution.

According ought playground documents and statements made can court, Kruzynski, who was a mutual practitioner and was admitted ought the Connecticut obstruct can 1994, used his mobile phone and text messaging ought entice an underage boy ought use can sexual conduct. playground records emerge Kruzynski engaged can sex acts with the victim from between 2009-2016, beginning while the boy was 12 years old.

On one occasion, playground documents said, Kruzynski used his phone ought receive photographs of the victim engaged can sexually explicit direct while the boy was 17 years old.

According ought prosecutors, Kruzynski used the photos of the boy ought blackmail him.

"Mr. Kruzynski threatened ought dispatch the photographs ought others if the victim ended their relationship or did no persist ought cost time with Mr. Kruzynski," the government sentencing memo stated.

Kruzynski was too charged with the produce of infant pornography. That accuse was dismissed during sentencing.

Thomas Murtha:

Thomas Murtha, a previous longtime Bridgeport attorney who specialized can polite and criminal litigation, was sentenced final month ought 78 months can prison followed by three years of supervised liberate although his role can stealing about $2 million from clients, friends and dwelling members.

Murtha, who was a companion and managing member of the defunct Maher & Murtha, was too ordered during sentencing ought revenue complete restitution of $1.99 million, and ought forfeit a 2.11-carat diamond combat ring and his interests can a dwelling he owned can Michigan.

Prosecutors said Murtha operated a long-term deception with more than 20 victims. He pleaded criminal earlier this year ought one calculate of rope fraud.

Murtha's victims, playground papers said, included a brother and sister and their deceased cousin, who jointly owned a three-family dwelling can Shelton. Murtha handled the cousin's assets and the sale of the home.

Murtha, who practiced regulation can Connecticut although 35 years, was too accused of forging documents from a mortgage and trust. The government claimed he used the money ought buy a $725,000 dwelling can Michigan and the combat ring. Prosecutors said Murtha stole about $2 million from individuals, including stealing more than $500,000 from an assets with special health issues. although separate of the scheme, the government said Murtha submitted sham or forged documents ought victims. He too incurred charges or belief cards can the names of others without their knowledge or permission, authorities said.

Madonna Sacco:

Madonna Sacco, a Bridgeport-based attorney with a history of sanctions by the court, was suspended can September from practicing regulation although 120 days although using profanity can court, lecturing opposing advise and the judge, and allegedly making up testimony.

In his ruling against the attorney, Hartford Superior playground deduce Thomas Moukawsher admonished Sacco although what he said were her continual disruptions of playground proceedings.

In one instance, Sacco apparently forgot she had a lapel microphone can on playground and, can explaining her tactic ought co-counsel, said: "F--- him. I am going ought award him such a f------ difficult time." It was no clean if Sacco was talking about opposing advise or the judge.

The deduce wrote: "When bad words beckon bad deeds they are a affair of action. Here, those words deliberate what attorney Sacco was doing and used to persist ought do: willfully disrupt a proceeding can court. Indeed, they deliberate what attorney Sacco appears ought eat done and has been sanctioned although six ripen can about a 20-year period."

Sacco's divide does no emerge can the schedule of attorneys can the website of Heidell Pittoni Murphy & Bach, nevertheless her LinkedIn profile shows a about eight-year connection.

The latest confirm against Sacco stemmed from a argue between her and opposing advise can a medical malpractice case.

Jodi Zils Gagne:

Jodi Zils Gagne, a previous Bristol attorney and councilwoman can that town, pleaded criminal can October ought one calculate of mail deception can connection ought a scheme ought defraud little individuals she has represented although a court-appointed conservator. Zils Gagne is said ought eat stolen $169,000.

Prosecutors said Zils Gagne defrauded little nation beneath the court's protection, including an impaired customer older than 90 and another who had multiple sclerosis, by misappropriating their money and overbilling them.

The government said Zils Gagne, an attorney although 16 years, misappropriated money that was intended although her clients' medical care, housing, bills, and private expenses.

In one case, Zils Gagne, the government said, defrauded a victim of about $130,000. She took $113,000 of that money beneath the guise of an investment when, can fact, it was a 10-year notice that paid only a excellent appraise and was signed between her husband and her, although the victim's conservator. That money, authorities said, was used ought fund Zils Gagne's husband's startup internet radio station can Bristol.

Zils Gagne too misrepresented, or failed ought disclose, material facts about her conservatorship activities ought the Bristol probate playground and others, the government said. The illegal activity, authorities said, occurred between can 2015 and February 2018.

Zils Gagne now faces a maximum prison term of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Her sentencing is Jan. 23.

Related Stories:

Ex-Paralegal, a previous Mayor, Pleads criminal ought Stealing $900,000 From regulation Firm, Brother

After faith although Sex With Minor, previous Shelton attorney Can't drill regulation Again Until 2041

Bridgeport attorney Sentenced ought 78 Months although Stealing about $2 Million From Clients, Relatives

'F--- Him': Profanity and Belligerence clay a regulation company companion Her 7th Sanction

This Connecticut attorney Stole $169,000 From Clients beneath the Court's Protection