In CT, Former Republican Lawyer Accused Of Stealing Campaign Funds

Photo: Division of Criminal Justice

JakeThomas

Attorney Michael Cronin also was arrested last month on dozens of felony forgery and identity theft charges.

An attorney in Connecticut who was accused last year of stealing state Senate Republican campaign funds was arrested last month on dozens of felony forgery and identity theft charges, according to the Hartford Courant.

The charges are tied to financial documents related to the attorney’s divorces from his two ex-wives.

Michael J. Cronin, 57, was charged with 26 counts of second-degree forgery and 12 counts of third-degree identity theft involving a series of real estate, refinancing and affidavit documents that were part of both divorce cases.

The charges stem from a series of tips inspectors received after they charged Cronin in February 2019 with first-degree larceny for allegedly stealing almost $268,000 from the state Senate Republican campaign fund that he oversaw as treasurer for more than a decade.

Court records show that an attorney representing Cronin’s first wife notified investigators a month later that they had likely “discovered evidence of mortgage fraud and forgery connected to the couple’s West Hartford home, where she continued to live after they separated in May 2014,” the Hartford Courant reported.

Evidence soon began piling up that Cronin had forged a number of signatures on a range of documents.

The new allegations shed light on the financial troubles the otherwise under-the-radar, longtime political staffer had leading up to the past 18 months, when investigators revealed the accusations he had stolen from the Senate Republican Leadership Fund. Investigators concluded Cronin directed money from the fund into his own pocket by taking cash back during deposits, moving funds to his personal accounts and wiring money from the fund for personal purchases.

Although Cronin admitted during the investigation that he stole from the fund, he pleaded not guilty to that larceny charge last year. He told investigators he needed the money to support his lifestyle and children, including one who is in college.

Read the full report.

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