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Former Oxford Tax Collector Will Serve Four Years [VIDEO]

Karen Guillet will spend time behind bars for stealing hundreds of thousands from the tax office.


Disgraced former Oxford Tax Collector Karen Guillet did not ask forgiveness of the town from which she stole more than $200,000 when given the opportunity Wednesday at Milford Superior Court. She felt that she did not deserve it. 

"...I’m deserving of the town’s scorn, anger and bitterness," she said. "All I ask is that the town be able to find some peace to know that I will be punished, and punished severly, for the crime that I committed against them. I also hope that in some fashion they will be able to move on." 

Her attorney, Dominick Thomas Jr., argued for a sentence of 18 months. But Judge Richard Arnold utlimately decided that betraying the public's trust deserved more time and handed down a sentence of 12 years, suspended after four served, with five years probation. Guillet was also ordered to pay restitution in full amount she is charged with stealing, $242,903, though many believe the amount was much higher.

Prior to the sentencing, State Attorney Kevin Lawlor said, “You're not just reaching into the till and taking money, you're stealing from your fellow citizens.”

“She betrayed the public, not just once, not twice, but on an almost daily basis,” Lawlor added.

Oxford First Selectman George R. Temple also offered his thoughts:

“Karen was highly respected and generous to all of her friends. Her excesses were legendary. She always had new Jaguars, shopped at exclusive boutiques, went on lavish trips, and even had a $1,000 pair of shoes."

"...When a family of five is struggling to put groceries on the table because both parents are unemployed, they are not asked to show symphathy for the defendant's compulsive need to be noticed and loved,” Temple added, referencing a recent encounter he had with the family while they were in line to pay their taxes at town hall.

Background:

Guillet, 62, pleaded guilty to charges that she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the town through a scheme while she served in her role as the elected tax collector, a position she held in Oxford for 24 years.

To avoid a trial, she accepted a plea deal that called for her to serve 12 years in prison with a possible suspended sentence after five years served. And she is being asked to pay restitution to the town in the amount of $242,903. However, a state police investigation only goes back so far because police were able to prove she stole enough to charge her to the full extent of the law. Town officials conducted their own investigation and discovered she stole more than $670,000 over just the last five years of her tenure.

See all Patch stories written about Karen Guillet here.

Read the story based on the arrest warrant affidavit here.

Patch will update this article later today. 

Lorraine DeStefano November 08, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Let's not forget the personal assisstance/dog walker, the fresh flowers delivered weekly, the catered affairs. These are just a few of the many examples of a woman spending way above the family's income. Sorry, but I can't believe her husband didn't know she had way more money than she should have had. He knows his own income and hers was public information. Nope, nobody can convince me that he didn't know something was going on. Don't forget-this wasn't a one time thing. It went on for years.
kathy johnson November 08, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Lorraine ,without wanting to delve into your personal life do you have a judicial background or law degree? Assuming you are correct how can you be sure that Karen will be released in only two years. Can you give me your source? By the way I commend you for using your real name. At least you are not hiding behind a pseudonym. I admire you for that even though I may not agree with all your sentiments. Kathy Johnson
Jean DuPaul November 08, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Punished severely ??? She won't to able to go shopping for a few years.
Lorraine DeStefano November 08, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Kathy, I don't have a law degree or a judicial background however, my husband was in law enforment. While there is no certainty that Karen will be released in two years, it is common for people to only serve half of the minimum. For example, a persons entenced to 10-20 years could be released after only 5 yrs dependent on good behavior and other factors.
Lorraine DeStefano November 08, 2012 at 07:35 PM
OOPS ! Should have proof read my comment! That's "law enforcement". And " a person sentenced"
Truman November 08, 2012 at 10:24 PM
I know for a fact that Karen leased her Jag and had told my wife about this a few years ago.
Janis Hardy November 09, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Lorraine, I think you should have read the article more clearly. Karen was NOT sentenced to 4 years, she was sentenced for TWELVE, suspended after 4 years time served, with 5 years probation. So she will serve her entire 4 years, then be on probation for 5. I know very few care, but when she gets out in 4 years, where will she go and what will she do? She is ruined for life, and will likely never be able to be employed anywhere, so how will she be able to repay the additional money owed to the Town after the $243,000 she must have already arranged to pay in order to get this sentence? I believe part of the sentencing agreement was that arrangements for the payment of restitution be made before or concurrent with sentencing. The articles I have seen today do not speak of that part of the deal.... And yes, I too was aware that Karen's Jags were leased.
ECasey November 09, 2012 at 02:28 AM
She leased a Jag, the monthly payment must have been high. We are fools if we don't think her family knew, she lived like a queen for years and her family was there enjoying it with her. They are just as guilty, and when she gets out I hope she has nothing! There is nothing worse than a liar and a thief, sweet Karen what a joke.
dog lover November 09, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Lets all remember that the prior administration let her stay at the town hall for 45 days after she was caught and therefore with her own key to the place, she was able to destroy evidence by shredding documents. My point is she was a really was obviously smart enough to keep 2 separate books on her job and this means she probably is smart enough to have either physically buried money somewhere or placed it in an overseas account for when she gets out of jail.
Beth November 09, 2012 at 03:54 AM
the lease on a jag would be extremely high for most of us here in Oxford...I also read today in the Wtby Republican that the $243,000 she has to pay begins when she is on probation which seems ridiculous to me??? Also IRS statements were checked and her income and her husbands were found to be significantly below what she was spending at Adam Brodericks in Stby and in Westport at the high end stores, her Jaguar, her baker, her assistant from the town hall who was also her dog walker, her landscaper, her trips to the casinos and I could go on...This was all documented in the papers over the past few years. Yes, 4 yrs in jail is a slap on the wrist and does not deter others from doing the same...I can only hope that the civil suit Oxford has against her will bring in the rest of the money she stole..Also, what I can't understand is how a town that has so much money missing from its coffers can financially survive???
Beth November 09, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Kathy, you are a long time resident of Oxford, a past selectman and also a very good friend of Guillets. Her attorney was also a very good friend of hers and a lawyer for the Town of Oxford...She got off very lightly and unfortunately this sends a message to other thieves that they too can live a life of lavishness and if they happen to get caught will only get a slap on their wrist...
Citizen X November 09, 2012 at 05:57 AM
There are a lot of unanswered questions, unfortunately. Why wasn't the IRS involved for income tax evasion? When exactly does restitution have to be made & what if she can't pay it all? Does the divorce protect the husband's assets? What is happening with the town's civil suit against Karen? What happens in the event that Karen can't make full restitution? What will be the basis for how much the town is seeking in the civil suit? If the criminal case was going to involve restitution, why wouldn't the town have forced the state to go after the $670,000? Has it ever been determined exactly how much went missing? Has it been determined that Karen didn't have any accomplices? She will be 67 when she's released from prison. 67 year old convicted felons don't normally get hired. Whatever the town doesn't get by then it will never get. Can you garnish social security? Do the family's assets come into the equation? Pretty easy to make the argument that family assets were subsidized with stolen money.
Someone else November 09, 2012 at 10:44 AM
"thank god obama won" should read "Welcome to Greece"
kathy johnson November 09, 2012 at 11:09 AM
janis bravo as usual you are right on the money. thanks for jumping in on this thread
kathy johnson November 09, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Ecasey and there is nothing worse than a coward
Bernard November 09, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Could we stop talking about her Jaguar. She drove an entry-level, crappy Jag. Yes it demonstrated her aspirations but it is not a signal of a greater theft. I don't know why this burns me so much - maybe because it gives her too much credit. If she had an XK or J-Type, then yes, we would know where the money went. The stores she shopped at are more telling because you can burn through cash quick. If I hear that she was shopping at Barney's, buying over-priced crap, I will join the lobby to send her to OZ (the prison - not the wizard).
kathy johnson November 09, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Beth I knew Karen as a friend in the same way that many others did in this town. As far as far as att Thomas is concerned here is more for you to chew on his wife was my best friend and was a sister to me we met when we were nine yeats old. She sadly passed away one year ago of cancer at the age of 65. She was my closest friend and Ideeply fell the loss As far as Karen is concerned Ihave chosen to forgive her beacause that is what I believe as a Christain is the right thing to do· I have chosen to for give her not to excuse her ·
kathy johnson November 09, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Beth her atty was not a friend of Karen as a matter of fact she had another atty prior to thomas he was asked to take over the case Ido not know why you think they were friends please excuse my poor computer skills as i am using ipad that keeps giving me trouble and i am affraid i will loose my comments if i try to fix it
kathy johnson November 09, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Beth one last thing please be careful of repeating what you think you know or rumers you have heard. Presenting yourself as someone in the know is easy when you do not choose to give your true identity.
mikeeg November 09, 2012 at 12:49 PM
your out of your mind i guess you never had any skeletons in your closet you must be squeaky clean i hope nobody digs up any crap on you or your family you must be a saint everybody does something in there life they are not proud of and even regret as with in regards to her family leave them alone they've suffered enough already!!!!!!!!
Lorraine DeStefano November 09, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Janis, while you are certainly correct that Karen's reputation and ability to find a job once she is released from prison, are completely ruined, she brought the ruination upon herself. She chose to steal repeatedly for years to support the lifestyle to which she aspired. Karen made the choice; I didn't make that choice for her and I can't imagine that anyone else in town suggested that she steal from the twon residents. Her crimes rest on her shoulders as do the repercusstions of commiting those crimes. Does anyone on this thread believe that Karen would have stopped stealing and confessed her cxrimes if she hadn't been caught red-handed? As far as her cars are concerned, I'm assuming that leasing a Jag is considerably more expensive than, say, leasing a Toyota Corolla. Let's not forget that Karen stole from each and every one of us not the Town of Oxford. It was our money, as individuals, that she stole.
ECasey November 09, 2012 at 08:27 PM
She would have never confessed. Her and hubby would have continued a life of luxury. Disgrac!
Beth November 10, 2012 at 02:20 AM
and lets not forget that while she was living a life of excess many of us were working two jobs just to make ends meet...
Casey Harrison November 13, 2012 at 09:27 AM
Reding all your comments seems all silly to me. I am a young adult who is leasing an expensive car and to be honest i make the same salery as Karen and I can afford it plus i live in an upscale town. I am not sticking up for her i know what she did was very wrong. If my hard earned money was taken from me to go out to lavish places i too would be angry. But what you have to realize, is that Mrs. Guillet well as some of you said, will not have her life back after she is out of prision. I personally think that she should have been put to work in a facility that is being closely monitored , and all the "money" that she would have been making go right back to the town of oxford. Sitting in a jail cell is not going to change what she did. Karen should be doing something constructive like working for "Free" If you think back before anyone knew any of this was happening. What did you think of her?? Was she a nice person?? DId she try to help people out when she could?? SHe should pay but pay back the town by working, speaking in public of why she did what she did and for what purpose. Sitting and waiting for 4 years to go by is not helping your town, And for her family they too are hurting not only by what she did but her son's lost a mother, her grandkids lost a grandmother, they have to live day by day knowing there mom did this and that must be so hard especially living in the same town, so please have respect for them, they did nothing wrong.
ECasey November 14, 2012 at 01:50 AM
Casey Harrison, You have no idea what it is like to be robbed by a town employee, I always paid cash on my house and car taxes and to think that during the transaction she was sweet and kind with the children makes me think and now know she was a fake. Karen deserves to be behind bars and it should have been for more then four years. No I don't want her working, she had a chance to be constructive but she failed at that. Yes, I am sure her family is hurting but don't tell our town that the family and her husband did not know or was not suspicious. Dog walker, family parties catered, nice car, spa sessions give me a break. I not sure what salary you are stating that you make like Karen; is that the legal salary or the bonus one? Don't worry about Oxford we are all doing much better now, but big salary get a computer that has spell check. A young adult with a big salary and an expensive car that does not know how to spell? Funny
ECasey November 14, 2012 at 01:53 AM
*with your big salary
Casey Harrison November 14, 2012 at 07:59 AM
ECasey well if you paid cash for your taxes did you get a receipt? Where I live you can only pay by check and they have to give you a receipt. I am no way sticking up for Karen but who pays cash and doesn't ask for proof of payment. I know what It's like to be robbed my house was broken into expensive items were taken. So I have an idea but get over it she is behind bars and I'm sure she is not spending any money. I make a good living, in the middle class world, legal by the way. When your typing on an I phone words get misspelled at time. No one is perfect. And by the way thanks for calling me young adult. I didn't know 50 was young.
Designer Daj November 27, 2012 at 04:01 AM
I appreciate your thoughts - especially about Obama. I don't think there was a business oppurtunity here for the tax collector. It was simply a criminal act. In business you can profit, you can have grossly high margins, low cost etc. and there are ways to price for high demand and low supply - lots of ways to profit legally - she simply performed illegal acts- perhaps not so simply
Designer Daj November 27, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I'm new to Oxford ( 4 months ) and I have had a great experience here so far. I just thought as it is the season of thanks and giving to take a moment and share some of the niceties from the folks in Oxford that I have encountered. Many of my neighbors have introduced themselves, one couple brought over a bottle of champagne. Another neighbor just invited me to a jewelry party. The folks in town hall have been great ie Gordon and Alice in building permits, the two funny women in voter registration, the assessors office and more. In fact I wish I could get a job there so I can meet more of the good people of Oxford and provide service and kindness. So is there a point in all this? Yes ! Oxford is a great town filled with good apples - Karen however was a bruised apple. Think about it... To lie, steal and betray for decades... It's quite sad for her and her family. No I was not a resident here during her tenure and I was not burnt my her flame. But I feel for the community .... I support whatever justice be issued. Just remember there are more good of you out there than bad. You have a sweet little community and I'm lucky to be a part of it. Happy holidays and peace to you All.
Alice S. December 05, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Ok, not one person here has even brought up the fact that no one at the town hall picked up on this. Where was the auditing, the checks and balances? How do you let one person handle all the money and the transactions? Yes, what Karen did was awful and she should be punished but how can you not put some of the blame on her superiors. I am having an extremely hard time trusting anyone at that town hall.

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