Prosecutor: Former Shelton lawyer stole $150,000 from clients

A former Shelton attorney has been charged with stealing more than $150,000 from clients, according to the Office of Chief State’s Attorney Kevin T. Kane.

Joseph DeFilippo, 52, of 20 Vista Drive, Shelton, was arrested for allegedly stealing funds from clients and others who had dealings with his former law practice.

DeFilippo has been charged with one count each of first-degree larceny and second-degree forgery. If convicted on the charges, he could face up to 25 years in prison.

Judiciary Disciplinary Counsel filed complaint

The arrest is the result of an investigation by the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office into a complaint filed in March 2012 by the Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office of the state Judicial Branch, according to a release by Kane’s office.

Investigators executed a search-and-seizure warrant for DeFilippo’s bank accounts, which documented thefts totaling more than $150,000, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Suspended from practicing law

DeFilippo had been suspended from practicing law in April 2011 and resigned from the Connecticut bar in September 201, stated the release.

DeFilippo was released on a promise to appear for arraignment at state Superior Court in Derby on Oct. 9.

“The charges are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” stated the release. “The case is being prosecuted by the Statewide Prosecution Bureau in the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office.”

The chief state’s attorney is the lead criminal prosecutor in Connecticut.