Garreau sentenced to jail; will repay $334,000


By Jim Poole and David Avitabile

Kelly Garreau, the woman who stole more than $300,000 from Cobleskill realtor Alton Makely, was sentenced to repay the money and also serve jail time.
Garreau was sentenced to six months in jail and five years' felony probation, along with repaying the Makely family $334,000. Sentencing came Friday in front of Judge George Bartlett in Schoharie County Court.
Garreau is to pay $1,000 per month for five years. She's been paying $1,000 each month since she pleaded guilty to second-degree grand larceny charges last April.
"The justice system does work," said Susan Makely, Alton's daughter. "You just have to be patient.
"Still, there are a lot of feelings of betrayal and deceit."
Cobleskill Police arrested Garreau, then 47, in September 2013. She had been in charge of Country Boy Realty's business accounts and Mr. Makely's personal account, according to police.
She had the business's credit card and obtained a card with her name on it for the same account without Mr. Makely's permission, according to police. The investigation found Garreau had stolen amounts from $400 to $15,000 each month over seven years.
The thefts put Mr. Makely and his family deeply in debt before they were discovered.
"All the accounts were not just depleted, they were overdrawn," Ms. Makely said.
"The hardest thing is that the greed caused him to sell his business that took 45 years to build."
The crime is "worthy of a state prison sentence," said Schoharie County District Attorney Jim Sacket.
However, he spoke with the Makelys, and they agreed that best opportunity to recoup some of the money was this sentence, Mr. Sacket said.
Had Garreau gone to state prison and then failed to pay, the Makelys could attempt the get the money back only through a civil suit.
"This was the best option," Mr. Sacket said.
Garreau could have been sentenced to five to 15 years in state prison.
If she does not pay the $1,000 per month, Garreau could be resentenced to state prison.
The 2013 news of the thefts shocked the community. Many knew that Mr. Makely was aware that Garreau had a prior conviction for grand larceny, yet he hired her nonetheless.
"He gave her a second chance when no one else would," Ms. Makely said.
"He trusted her and went to bat for her, and this is how she repaid him," Mr. Sacket added.
Sentencing was expected to come earlier, but it was postponed several times.
Now that Garreau has been sentenced, Ms. Makely wants to put the issue in the past.
"My family really appreciates the community's support through all of this," she said. "And hats off to the justice system, Judge Bartlett and Jim Sacket. They really stood behind us."