Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to Sacramento CPA accused of stealing $13.5 million from clients?

Q: What ever happened to Bill Murray, the Sacramento accountant that was convicted of a fraudulent scam?

DeWalt, Sacramento

A: William Russell Murray, a Sacramento certified public accountant, was accused of stealing at least $13.5 million from 52 clients between 2001 and 2009.

He pleaded guilty in federal court to mail fraud and interference with tax administration. Murray was sentenced in May 2010 to 19 years and seven months in prison and ordered to pay more than $10 million in restitution.

Although every asset of Murray’s that the IRS could locate was ordered to be seized, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Garcia noted that would not begin to make the victims whole, according to a story in The Sacramento Bee.

According to Murray’s guilty plea, he told clients to write checks to accounts under his control so that he could pay taxes or invest money on their behalf. Instead, he spent millions of dollars in clients’ money on his own lifestyle, buying houses, a classic car, a fleet of limousines, jewelry, rugs, fine wines and other luxury items.

As demands for payments arrived from clients and the Internal Revenue Service, Murray used money received from newer clients to pay off demands associated with earlier clients.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy