SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Accountant William Murray has been charged with stealing more than $8.5 million from dozens of clients who believed he was making tax payments or investing on their behalf.
The U.S. Treasury special agent investigating the embezzlement case filed a criminal complaint Wednesday, Dec. 23 in Sacramento federal court.
Special Agent Brian Goold said in a sworn affidavit that Murray, 55, admitted using the embezzled money to support an extravagant lifestyle of dining, travel, and entertainment. Murray also admitted using stolen money to establish and maintain a 10-vehicle fleet for his company known as Luxury Limousines of Sacramento, according to Goold.
One victim, identified in the complaint as Ed P., is believed to have lost $870,000 that he invested with Murray. "Isn't that enough to make you sick?" Ed remarked to News10 when told a formal complaint had been filed.
Ed, 75, is a retired police officer now living in Orange County. He and his wife had been Murray's clients for at least 10 years. "It's everything we've got. I don't know that we can even stay in our house," he said. Ed said Murray had made regular payments on the investment until the payments suddenly stopped last month.
Another victim identified in the complaint as Patricia W. is a real estate agent in the Sacramento area who wrote checks to Murray totalling $403,000 for tax payments between 2005 and 2009. Most of the money never made it to the IRS, so Pat still owes the taxes and penalties.
"I don't know what to say. It's still overwhelming," Pat, 63, told News10. Pat praised the work of Goold, the Treasury agent investigating the case. "I have to give him extra points for his perseverence. He's been a really good guy," she said.
Murray's attorney, Donald Heller, previously told News10 his client has been cooperating with the investigation. Goold indicated in his affidavit that investigators were not entirely convinced Murray is telling them everything.
"(We) are continuing to investigate the full extent of Mr. Murray's activities, and are somewhat puzzled at what little money appears to be left from what Mr. Murray stole," Goold wrote. Goold said he was seeking an arrest warrant to protect what may be unidentified assets.
Heller told News10 he is negotiating the surrender of his client. Heller said he expected Murray's equity in three properties that he owns would allow his release from jail on a secured bond.
Murray at one time was a frequent guest on News10 Midday offering tax tips. He is also a former IRS agent.
The 2009-2010 directory of the National Limousine Association lists Murray as a member of the NLA since 2006. Murray and his employees have attended past. International LCT Shows. A check of the Luxury Limousines Web site Thursday showed the site was still operational, but no employees were answering phones.
Source: News10, ABC-TV, Sacramento and Martin Romjue, LCT Magazine