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UPDATE: Former Oxford Tax Collector Pleads Not Guilty

Karen Guillet's attorney enters pro-forma not guilty plea.

Former Oxford Tax Collector  entered a not guilty plea to felony charges of larceny and forgery at Milford Superior Court on Monday. 

Her attorney, Dominick Thomas, entered a pro forma not guilty plea on behalf of Guillet, 61, who stood by her attorney with her husband, Nil (pronounced Neal), sitting behind her. Karen Guillet, who wore a dark blue or black suit with a blue silk scarf and open toed high heels into court, quickly left the courtroom without saying anything. Her case was continued to Jan. 24, one month after her 62nd birthday, which is on Christmas Eve.

"Pro forma" is a Latin term for "as a matter of form." In court, it is a ruling made as a formality in order to move matters along, according to Nolo's plain-English law dictionary.

Guillet, of 2 Douglas Lane, has charges stemming from a multi-year embezzling scheme that she is accused of orchestrating in the office she held for 24 years. that Guillet used the money on luxury items such as two dog walkers whom she paid $100 a day, trips to casinos, hotels and spas, and high-end clothes, among other amenities. 

She has been charged with seven felonies, including six counts of first-degree forgery and one count of first-degree larceny following a two-year ; she has been accused of stealing more than although the criminal charges against her accuse her of stealing $243,902. The most serious charge, first-degree larceny, is a Class B felony punishable by between 1 and 20 years in prison or up to a $15,000 fine. First-degree forgery is a Class C felony punishable by between 1 and 10 years in prison or up to a $10,000 fine. Guillet is currently free after posting 10 percent of a $100,000 bond.

The town has also filed a  in which Oxford looks to recoup the money that is alleged to be stolen. That suit is pending.

Monday marked Guillet's second court appearance. She appeared briefly in Derby Superior Court last week; it was the first time she had faced a judge. The case was moved to Part A, where the most serious cases are heard in superior court. All Part A cases out of the Derby judicial district are heard in Milford.

A couple of Oxford residents have showed up in court to follow the case.

Last week, one woman who said she was a title searcher and knew Guillet from Town Hall didn't want to be identified in the press but joked that she just wanted to see what Guillet was wearing.

On Monday, Oxford resident Roger O'Toole attended the pre-trial conference in Milford. A 61-year-old retired teacher and a selectman from 1993-95, O'Toole said he plans to follow the case because the allegations anger him and his neighbors.

"People talk about how she used to walk to work when she was first in office and then all of a sudden she's driving a brand new car," he said. "She gave me the same line that she had given others: that she had a rich relative or something like that. ...People talk about it a lot...And I think she stole more than they say in the papers."

Bernard December 22, 2011 at 04:45 PM
I wrote forment but my phone is not as smart as I think I am.
Ashleigh December 22, 2011 at 05:16 PM
I really fail to see why she should be given mercy. She's had a mercifully long time to live like royalty on our money.
lauren December 22, 2011 at 06:18 PM
I actually find you amusing! Mrs. Guilette is also a good "christian", a catholic, a religion instructor, and a lector...LMAO! One of the 10 commandments, otherwise referred to "mortal" sins in the catholic religIon - THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!! SHE DESERVES NO MERCY!!!!!!!
Bernard December 22, 2011 at 06:21 PM
Do people actually read posts here? There are specific comments and general comments. Reading and understanding context helps one to determine what is meant. By all means, stay angry and resentful.
Zeke December 22, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Oh, man, lighten up!
JYD December 22, 2011 at 08:18 PM
I may not agree with John, but I have to admit... He's taken the concept of "pressing someone's buttons" to a whole new level.
Bernard December 22, 2011 at 09:12 PM
Like it takes much to get folks around here worked up. Half the time folks are trying to be fox news to my cnn rather than simply responding to what I actually say. Most of my detractors seem to overlook my position on the punishment that Mrs Guilett deserves because they can't get past the fact that I don't hate her or want her family destroyed. Whatever the courts decide in terms of sentence and restitution will be enough for me.
kathy johnson December 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM
John I agree with you I do not hate her or want her family destroyed either. She has been arrested and will have her day in court. Lets let our legal system complete its task and lets show some mercy but at the same time I still expect Karen to be held accountable for her alleged crime. Keep in mind we may not have all the facts yet. We will be celebrating Christmas in a few days. Like Gorge Bush Sr. I am wishing for a kinder, gentler America . Its OK to have anger and loathing for a persons actions but not for the person. By the way justice in our great country moves slowly for a good reason for if it did not many innocent people would be wrongly convicted. Thank God we do not live in a banana republic or in parts of the world where justice is swift and people are mutilated and executed immediately. Like everyone else on this blog I am just expressing my opinion I am not condemning anyone. Happy Holidays to all.
lauren December 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Kathy - I am assuming you are the same Kathy Johnson that served as the first selectman while Karen was raping the town?? Perhaps you are embarrased that this was going on under your watch, and you too were enamored by the rich woman working so hard for the town. Personally, I have no problem with the speed of the justice system, just the fact that it took so long to arrest her and they did not go all the way back to the beginning of her terms as tax collector. If you knew Karen prior to her becoming tax collector, you are aware that she was a plain Jane, young wife and mother, at one time working evenings at Reed's department store in Southbury to contribute to the family income. Low and behold...she becomes tax collector and becomes a new person. She even changed her speech pattern to go with her new wealthy persona. She has been bilking the town for over twenty years. I am willing to bet that the real numbers would be in excess of a million dollars. So yes, I have great disdain for her & her husband. There is no way in hell he didn't know what was going on. Should she go to jail & lose her assets...ABSOLUTELY!
Beth December 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM
John please do not equate Jesus Christ with Karen Guillet. He lived a life of poverty while she lived a life similiar to Madoff..
Beth December 23, 2011 at 12:34 AM
JYD That is the reason he has taken the opposite view...just to be a thorn of rightousness in our side...Lol!
Bernard December 23, 2011 at 01:12 AM
Well, you could stand for righteousness Beth. The option is open to all of us. But, don't let me get in the way of the hate fest. Let's get ready for Christmas with a good dose of bad will and resentfulness.
Beth December 23, 2011 at 01:19 AM
Kathy, I have no comment to make other then the fact that she was the tax collector under your watch too...
Beth December 23, 2011 at 01:29 AM
John or as you called yourself in your earlier reply CNN. I do not like being lectured to about rightousness, what give you the right to act like you are God! I don't kinow you...This is my last post on here regarding this issue...Signing off from Fox news,,,Beth
John M. Joy December 23, 2011 at 02:02 AM
...and under Augie's and Paul Schreiber's - and Ed Oczkowski's - as well.
kathy johnson December 23, 2011 at 02:53 AM
Lauren and Beth to answer your question I am a former first selectman and have never tried to hide that fact. Now that you know who I am I would love to know who you both are. Thanks John Joy and to add to your comment all this also occurred right under the noses of all the tax attorneys, the auditors and the various boards of finance made up of both Dems and Repubs. As far as an arrest is concerned that was not under any town officials control so you all might want to complain to the State Police. I am not embarrassed nor was I enamored by the rich woman. I was and still am shocked and saddened. You are correct I did not know Karen prior to her tax collector years so like so many others I assumed that she always had that type of personality. On the other hand If you realized she was a fake why did you not say something? We could have all used your insight. I do not understand why my comments would prompt you and Lauren to feel the need to point out that I was a past first selectman. Merry Christmas
Lynn December 23, 2011 at 03:21 AM
I don't blame anyone for feeling angry or ripped off!!! Some state "Let our legal system fight it out" but guess what - our legal system has failed us taxpayers at times.... John, have you ever been ripped off??? Under this instance, I hope you will be able to fully understand taxpayers anger and frustration in this situation....
kathy johnson December 23, 2011 at 03:50 AM
I don't think that anyone disagrees that we all have a right to be angry and frustrated. I believe the town is making every effort to recoup the money they say was stolen. In the mean time I am hoping that through our legal system (as flawed as it may be) the town will be able to prove exactly how much was missing and exactly how and why this happened.
Beth December 23, 2011 at 04:55 AM
Kathy I never said she was a fake...My husband and I have lived in Oxford for close to 30 yrs...never did we realize that there was no oversight in the tax office, if there was we wouldn't be in the situation we are now in...It's sad because I am sure that the town will never really know where the money went...could have gone to purchase land, build homes for others, helped her husband with his so construction business. i know that this is all speculation, but all of this has to be investigated
Bernard December 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM
I understand the anger and wanting her to be punished, I will not shed a tear when she is sentenced and I hope it is for a very long time. My main objection was and is that this the former tax collector's crime is unworthy of the level of rage and vindictiveness expressed publicly in my opinion. Some things that we feel or think should not be expressed as they represent our most base natures. She ripped off the town - not me personally. Yes it was a pot of tax money that I and others contributed to but there is a difference. If she came to my house and robbed me, I would certainly feel differently. Many folks here were angry with their life, society, President Obama, the economy before the tax collector was caught and this is yet another thing for them to point their rage to. I pointed out that methinks that some (not all) of the indignation and rage at this woman is overblown. Now I have become the voice of righteousness and Karen Blanchette's bleeding heart liberal nemesis. Let me just say again for the sake of clarity, I hope she goes to jail for a long time because despite my high standard for hatred - my standard for punishment is very low..
Oxford Taxpayer December 23, 2011 at 02:54 PM
It's obvious she has been getting away w/ this for an awfully long time, going back way further than the investigation so far yielded. I was classmates with her older son back in grammar school, and remember going to a birthday party over their house back when we were kids (early to mid 80s), and remember this fancy garden she had in her yard, filled w/, from what I remember, I think were Venus fly traps, and stuff like that. It was like nothing you'd ever seen. I guess, in retrospect, one of the many things our Oxford tax dollars went toward, while, if getting cheated on taxes was not enough, folks living in trying times endured job cuts, etc.because the town "didn't have enough money". Yeah, all the trust within a small town and everybody "knowing each other" made it easy to believe the "rich uncle, etc." bit at the time, not to mention she was a lector at the church (Wasn't Dominick Thomas as well, besides him being town attorney back then...hmmmnnn) and CCD teacher -- Bottom line is beware of someone who comes off as way too much of a Goody Two Shoes!
J December 23, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Thank you, John, well said.
J December 23, 2011 at 03:22 PM
John, I think I love you...
Ed Spruck December 23, 2011 at 09:12 PM
The “investigation” phase is over so the only charge is she stole about $243k. The Town got back $100k from the bonding company and put a lien on the house for $150k. I don’t know if the State can force a sale of their house or not, since her husband is not charged. That’s probably all we will get in terms of money. She keeps her pension, clothes, car and the family keeps the fruits of her theft. We should expect minimal sentencing. Look at Fr. Kevin Gray, he was sentence to 3 yrs and will serve only 19 months with 3 years probation. He stole, I believe, over $1M over 7 years. Why would they give a longer sentence for Guillet? Rowland got a year and a day and was out in about 9 months. Will the Feds charge Guillet with failing to pay taxes on the money she stole, probably not. Clearly with the income they reported on their tax returns they couldn’t support what they bought. The Town’s civil suit could drag on for years. What other asset could we get to fulfill the $425K balance, of the triple damages, if you can’t touch her pension, other assets or the family’s assets acquired with our stolen money? So enjoy the Holidays and wait and see what happens at the trial, just don’t be surprised if it’s not what you hoped for.
lauren December 23, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Sadly, Ed, you are 100% right. I am and will continue to be upset over the fact that the investigation did not go further back in time. Obviously, anyone who has lived in town for 20 or more years is well aware of the lifestyle they enjoyed with our money. It has been going on for years! Her husband should also be charged, but that won't happen. My only hope is that after she serves her short sentence, they leave town.
lauren December 23, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Kathy... the "how" was explained in the indicment, the "why" is evident, GREED. They did not need the money, she just wanted it so she could live an extravagent life styles
Beth December 23, 2011 at 11:00 PM
Oxford Taxpayer,,,read my earlier blog...yes they both were lectors at St. Thomas Churcyh and both worked at the town hall at the same time..."Also, she claims she had a rich aunt not uncle...
Beth December 23, 2011 at 11:05 PM
sadly Ed, I hope that you are wrong and that the investigation will continue so the town can recoup alot of the assets she purchased with our tax money...and if sentencing is minimal, this certainly will not deter others from doing the same...needless to say our judge system stinks...
Beth December 23, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Lori, we all thought that the auditors and attorneys were doing there job and there was oversight...
lauren December 24, 2011 at 12:37 AM
Merry Christmas to you! To answer your question, I had no reason to mention Karen's sudden wealth, and wealthy attitude for the following reason: many years ago, outside of town hall, prior to a budget meeting Karen arrived in her new jag . When she approached our group, one of the women comment..." Wow Karen, did you hit the lotto". Her answer was, and I remember this clearly - "My dear aunt passed and left me a substansial inheritence, and a home on the "gold coast" which I sold". Like everyone else, I believed her...Little did we know it was Auntie Oxford!

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