Milford Attorney Charged with Embezzlement

In September 2012, Investigators executed a search warrant at the Law Offices of Meuser, Eckenrode and Hayes located at 86 Cherry Street, Milford. The accused, Michael Hayes, is a resident of Orange.

Local attorney Michael Hayes has been charged with two counts of first degree embezzlement Embezzlement and released on a $10,000 bond. 

Attorney Hayes, age 53 of 119 Coram Lane in Orange, is accused of embezzling money from clients.  

The Milford Police Department is currently investigating complaints on this matter.

Investigators met with the first victim in August 2012 who indicated that Attorney Hayes allegedly withheld funds in excess of $125,000 from a life insurance policy for her deceased spouse. 

The victim met with attorney Hayes in June 2012 to discuss her finances.  The victim was informed that there was no money and that Attorney Hayes had invested those funds into a property in Milford which he refused to identify where the property was.  

During this investigation it was discovered that Attorney Hayes had registered a limited liability company titled “16 Corona Circle Associates” which led to a cash purchase of a residential property at that location in June 2012.  

Attorney Hayes allegedly used funds from another client’s account during this transaction and replenished a portion of those funds withheld from the initial victim.  This residential property was renovated and placed back on the housing market for resale. 

In September 2012, Investigators executed a search warrant at the Law Offices of Meuser, Eckenrode and Hayes located at 86 Cherry Street in Milford which led to the discovery of additional evidence and information pertaining to this complaint and other alleged criminal activity involving Attorney Hayes.  

Investigators met with a second victim regarding the above activities which led to the discovery of $50,326 that Attorney Hayes allegedly embezzled from this victim in October 2012.  

Investigation revealed that Attorney Hayes indicated to the second victim that they had bought a house together and to keep it “hush-hush”, relaying to her that she would get an interest check in November 2012 or he would sell the property.  

During both investigations, it was determined that Attorney 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.

On November 15, 2012 at 09:00 a.m., Attorney Michael Hayes surrendered himself to police regarding two arrest warrants for the previously mentioned investigations.  

Attorney Hayes is scheduled to appear at Milford Superior Court on November 27, 2012 for the above charges.

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

Ellen T November 18, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Let's see, embezzling, taking advantage of grieving widows, car accident, arrest, sounds like karma to me! Hope he gets what he deserves!
JE November 18, 2012 at 03:54 PM
@MJ - I think you are thinking of the article in the New Haven Register.
Melody A. Malota-Hart November 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Embezzlement = White Collar Crime...hmmmmm....so, instead of holding up a 7-11 with a gun....he preyed on the grieving....his gun was a computer and a pen.....seems exactly the same to me....I,being one of his grieving clients....could he have done the same to me and my family? We will see now....won't we.....I have no sympathy for this man.....I had a gut feeling knawing at me since the reading of my Dad's will....maybe I'm wrong...but I don't think so!!!!
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 20, 2012 at 08:23 PM
Dear Ms Hart, Mr Hayes is accused of a crime. It may not be a violent one, but it still is a crime and if found guilty he will pay with the loss of his freedom and most likely forced to make restitution. In addition he will be disbarred, meaning he can no longer feed his family in the way he was educated. He will pay a very high price for what he has done if found guilty. For you and your family I wish you "Justice". More than that we can not do. In the Jewish Bible we find the term "an eye for an eye" This does not mean that if Mr Hayes caused the loss of sight in one of your eyes, you have the right to pluck out one of his. Jewish law interpreted this line to mean that for the loss of your eye, you are entitled to just compensation in the form of money damages. I hope you receive all that our justice system can bestow and the same to Mr Hayes.
Melody A. Malota-Hart November 20, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Mr Goldwyn Mr Hayes is nothing more than a buzzard flying over the bereived families of his "victims" (clients)...clients that trusted him to bestow their wishes of life insurance etc onto their beneficiaries .....instead he knowingly calculated ways to steal the money for himself....to this....is unforgivable and should be punished to the greatest extent of the law! How does a person like that sleep at night? I will not go on any further with anymore comments regarding this matter. What goes around comes around....I am a true believer in that statement....if "Karma" has anythin to do with it or not....I can not say.
Starla November 24, 2012 at 03:02 AM
So what's your point? Everyone accused of commiting a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. FYI, there are many reasons a presumed honest person begins to steal. He ends up with a massive debt such as gambling, huge medical expenses, a lawsuit, etc. He doesn't have to be dishonest person in general to end up stealing because in his mind he has no other choice.
Anonymous Reader November 25, 2012 at 04:19 AM
Hey, I probably shouldn't even get involved in this conversation, I am not going to leave my name, but I know Mr. Hayes personally, and some of you are talking about him like he is the worst thing since Madoff. Yes, what Mr. Hayes is accused of doing is terrible, but like Mr. Goldwyn said, If he is found guilty, his ability to practice law goes out the window, and even if he is acquitted, he will have a massive legal bill. He is going to pay, yet you trash him with curses and insults. I'm not even an adult, but I know enough about the law that honest lawyers get put into Mr. Hayes's position all the time. This isn't an excuse for what he did, but he wasn't necessarily trying to steal it, just "borrow" it until business picked up. I don't know much about the law, I'm not an adult, and probably don't have a right to discuss this, but Mr. Hayes is a good man, I know that, and it's my right as a human being to stand up for him even if he has done a terrible thing. Mr. Hayes will get what he deserves, he doesn't need people to make it worse than it already is. He has been a fundamental part of this community for a long time, let's not forget that. I wish you all justice, and well-being Please no hate responses Anonymous Reader
jungis4545 November 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM
He wanted to 'borrow' the money, not 'steal' it. I'd love to hear him try that excuse in court. But, then again, a lawyer represented by a lawyer in friont of a judge who's a lawyer? Maybe Ron can straighten that one out with his torturous logic.
Starla November 25, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I was not attacking Mr. Hayes, I would suggest you reread my post. In fact, I was trying to cut the guy some slack because we don't know all the facts. Don't put me in the same boat as Mr. Goldwyn.
Melody A. Malota-Hart November 25, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Hopefully all this will be straightened out by the Attorney who was appointed by a Judge to go through all of Mr Hayes's open cases....one being mine...I'm dying to see if he embezzled more than the 2 that have been found so far....there are too many of us that trusted this man to honestly look out for his clients, and their best interest.I have a feeling they will find more...I totally agree with jungis4545...I have spoken to the Detective assigned to Mr Hayes's case...he is going to get back to me with the name of the Attorney who has all Mr Hayes's files....all will be open to the public....so we can see if their are more victims of Mr Hayes's transgressions.
anonymous November 25, 2012 at 01:59 PM
to add to the comment left from the child borrowilng anything without permission is STEALING. Their are many people in need and if you borrow something from a store its stealing the cops wont say its borrowing .
C.S. November 25, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The fact is that he stole and ruined peoples lives, people who trusted him. At least if he held these people up with a ski mask a gun they would have known what was up. Getting screwed over by someone you trusted, an paid for that supposed trust is a real kick in the pants. The money is probably mostly gone, so all these folks have is justice. Not really sure how you say he is a good man, maybe he acts like one, but a "good man" doesn't steal and ruin peoples lives. Oh, and borrowing without asking permission is actually called stealing. Please explain is you will as to how honest lawyers are placed in this position all the time? I don't think you know what you're talking about here.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 25, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Staria, If you are not in the same boat as myself, then you are attacking My Hayes. My point is that he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. I have not prejudged the case unlike his accuser. My main point is that unlike most criminal cases embezzlement charges are usually limited to first offenders. Because one must have been in a position of trust before embezzlement can occur. A shady character would normally prohibit a person from being put in a trustworthy position. Now I must state that I am the first generation that did not go into the legal profession, but my father, my uncle and my grandfather were all lawyers. My father-in-law was an insurance agent and a real estate broker who normally held large sums of money in escrow. All these men were presumed to be honest. As for myself I have been elected, served and continue to serve as a treasurer of a number of Non-Profit organizations which is also an office of trust and subject to embezzlement charges and not just ordinary theft. As I said a while back, only an honest person can be charged with enbezzlement.
Starla November 25, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Honest, dishonest, no one can charge you with any crime until you get caught. You can be dishonest to the teeth in one way and still be honest elsewhere.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 25, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Dear No-name, and others, will you please give me your definition of embezzlement as that is what Mr Hayes is charged with. To Melody, at this point Mr Hayes is being charged with criminal acts. There will be a time when you may bring a civil action to reclaim any financial loss you may have suffered, but please don't mix the two. At the present you are a witness and not a prosecutor. What disturbs me is that the court will allow Mr Hayes's lawyers to be paid from his current assets before restitution will come about. Melody, you do have a lawyer representing you at this time?
jungis4545 November 25, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Ron's just thanking god that Hayes didn't have to surrender his car keys.
Anonymous Reader November 25, 2012 at 10:18 PM
starla, I never said any names except for Mr. Goldwyn's, I never said you were attacking him. The people attacking him know who they are. You have an excellent point though, we don't know all the facts. Mr. Hayes may have done something terrible, but no one here has any idea what could have happened to him that might make him do something bad. He was in a terrible car accident in a situation that is very safe and few accidents occur in. This suggests he might have even wanted to kill himself for what he did, and the trouble he could be in, but we don't know all the facts, I could be wrong. Point is, something could have happened to him that made him make wrong choices. He didn't open up his business yesterday, he has been doing this for a long time, and has had a fine track record up until this point. I believe that something very big happened to him that put him in an extreme situation, but that's my belief. To those of you complaining about me using the word "borrowing" if you read my post, I clearly stated that borrowing someone else's money without permission isn't an excuse, it's stealing, period, I know that. C.S. When someone is proven guilty of say grand theft, and they owe money, the money usually goes to the lawyer, who gives it to the client, this happens all the time, which is why it is so easy for lawyers to take some of it with the intent of giving it back when say business picks up. You almost never in this case find a lawyer that intends to steal the money...
Anonymous Reader November 25, 2012 at 10:19 PM
...because the client can find out when it's time collect what they've won whether they have the right amount or not. Most lawyers who do it are in a tough position, have bills stacking up, and can either change their lifestyle, or take some of this money on the premises of giving it back once they get some extra profit. Mr. Goldwyn, "Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets by one or more individuals to whom such assets have been entrusted, to be held and/or used for other purposes." that's the Wiki definition (since you asked) I think this is a good example because like you said and in the definition, the person embezzling has to be trusted. There's a famous saying "you have to trust someone to be betrayed." Wrapping up, my point is that yes, he stole a lot of money, but we don't know how he conceived it, he could have justified stealing a little money as borrowing until his business picked up, a little became a lot. We will never know the truth, and until anyone of you who has nothing better to do than curse and insult someone who has been through hell and back, and who's innocent family's life will be derailed, and make it that more painful because he will carry that on his conscience forever, I hope you have a change of heart when you look at it through his eyes and realize his life is a living hell without you...
Anonymous Reader November 25, 2012 at 10:19 PM
...One final note, I am not a child, I am in my late teens, treat me as one. I wish all of you the best, no matter your opinion, I am not here to make enemies, just to stick up for Mr. Hayes and his family. Anonymous Reader.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Folks, Mr Hayes is accused of embezzling assets of Melody. Right now the DAs office is still in the investigative stage with so far two clients being embezzled ther may be more. Right now he is presumed innocent and I will go along with that. Melody, may know better than the rest of us and she will be given the opportunity to state why. We on the otherhand must let justice take its own pace.
Anonymous Reader November 26, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Well put.
anonymous November 26, 2012 at 01:52 AM
at the end of the day hayes stole the money, no matter the reason that doesnt matter. i feel for melody and her family who trusted hayes to handle her affairs. as for his car accident and running into the tree on purpose to relieve his responsibility that is horrible for his family. i feel sorry for the victims and his family going thru the holidays with this hanging over their heads.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
At the end of the day Mr. Hayes is ACCUSED of stealing the money. Right now he is alleged to have embezzled the funds. This is a keystone in our justice system. Unless he pleads guilty to the charges, he is presumed innocent until a judge or jury finds him guilty until by due trial. No matter how bad the case may appear, we MUST be just in our thinking at this time. Remember that you could be called to serve on his jury. Yes I believe in the American judicial system and I hope you do too.
anonymous November 26, 2012 at 03:27 PM
yes the justice system got it, but he did admit to the act of taking advantage of his clients so whatever the outcome his victims know he is guilty.
Anonymous Reader November 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I'm with Ron. None of us know what happened, our judicial system relies on evidence and/or proof that is collected and presented at an actual trial to determine whether or not someone is guilty. Until that point though, anyone accused is presumed innocent, although most cases brought to court result in the defendant being tried guilty, because rarely does someone who is innocent get taken to that far a point in the judicial process.
RONALD M GOLDWYN November 27, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Actually, Mr. Reader, In our criminal courts, the ADAs must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and the defense can ask the judge to dismiss the case if the ADA failed to do so. If the judge doesn't agree the defense must then put on their side of the case. Many a jury has found the defendant not guilty solely on the basis that the state did not prove their position, meaning reasonable doubt. We also have the opposite happening where an innocent person is convicted due to a poor legal defense. I am not a lawyer, but I did go to many trials just as a visitor. I even attended a federal murder trial which is rare as murder is most often tried as a state crime.
anonymous November 27, 2012 at 03:52 AM
if u read my post i said whatever the outcome his victims i mean past clients know the truth as we do he admitted it.
jungis4545 November 27, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Gee, Ron, now that you spout fine points of law based on your attendance at trials, may we assume that were you to attend a production of 'Hamlet' you'd then present yourself as a Shakespearean scholar? Sometimes your observations are entertaining; most often they're just obtuse.
Anonymous Reader November 29, 2012 at 01:25 AM
You're technically correct Mr. Goldwyn, but come on, Lawyers play that card quite often, but it gets over ruled 99.99% of the time. That wasn't my point though, my point was that if an accuser, be it a person or the state, can't find enough evidence to get past that point, they either won't pursue a trial, or they will compromise. p.s. I'm on you're side of this whole thing. Anonymous Reader
Anonymous Reader November 29, 2012 at 01:27 AM


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