Bankruptcy Attorney Charged with Embezzling Funds
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that PETER RESSLER, 68, of Woodbridge, was charged today by federal criminal complaint with embezzlement of debtor’s funds. RESSLER was an attorney with a bankruptcy practice based in New Haven.
RESSLER appeared this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and was released on a $100,000 bond.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office after it identified criminal conduct by RESSLER in at least two cases involving debtors that were his clients. In one case, the debtor entrusted RESSLER with $450,000, which were proceeds of a legal settlement, to be held by RESSLER’s firm for the benefit of the debtor and its creditors. In a second case, the debtor entrusted RESSLER’s firm with approximately $321,409. In both cases, most of the deposited funds were used by RESSLER for other purposes than on behalf of the relevant clients.
The complaint further alleges that RESSLER is cooperating with the investigation and prosecution of this matter, which includes the investigation of embezzlements from other clients.
RESSLER resigned from the Connecticut bar in March 2016.
The charge of embezzlement of debtor’s funds carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher W. Schmeisser.