'Bottomed out' embezzler gets 5+ years
Wilmot, 43, was sentenced Tuesday in state Superior Court in Litchfield to 15 years of incarceration, suspended after five and a half years, to be followed by five years of probation.
She will serve her remaining two years incarceration on a federal tax evasion conviction concurrent with the new five-and-a-half-year state sentence. She has three years of supervised probation following her federal sentence.
Wilmot was also facing a state violation of probation charge. The charges came from her arrest for misappropriating nearly $22,000 while she was financial controller in 2011 at Bull's Bridge Golf Club in South Kent.
That arrest brought a violation of probation charge from her 2004 state conviction for stealing more than $100,000 from Canterbury School, a private high school in New Milford.
Wilmot pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to the two state charges, deciding against a jury trial. She was also facing a second-degree forgery charge and a second-degree larceny charge from separate incidents.
Her father, Jeffrey Balough, asked for leniency Tuesday in his daughter's sentencing. He has paid restitution to Canterbury School and Bull's Bridge Golf Club for her thefts, he said.
"Debbie has a marriage... (where) both she and her husband are chronic spenders. This led to abusive arguments," Balough said.
"Debbie goes through a cycle of stress, depression and then enters a state of feeling hopelessness. That's when these events happen," he added. "I feel she needs strong, intensive psychotherapy."
Wilmot told Superior Court Judge James P. Ginocchio Tuesday about a 20-year bout with bulimia that she said she has overcome through psychotherapy. The therapy was federally mandated with her tax evasion conviction.
"I bottomed out," Wilmot said. "I started therapy for the first time in my life. I'm starting to understand myself. I hope to get control over my mistreatment of people. I'm getting a divorce."
Ginocchio refused the request of Wilmot's attorney, Martin Minnella, to run her sentence on the larceny charge "flat" with the two years remaining on her federal incarceration.
"She has an incurable pattern of theft," Ginocchio said. "I did not see anything in the pre-sentencing investigation that showed a person on the path to recovery."
"You say your behavior is compulsive, but you have to get hired, manipulate the books and think every day, how will I steal today?" the judge said.
"You've manipulated your Social Security number and your name. This behavior is not compulsive," he added. "It's thought out and carried out over a period of time."
Wilmot's federal tax evasion charges resulted from a civil suit in which she and her husband were paying back some $220,000 with her father's assistance.
The bank processing the money reported unpaid taxes on it to the IRS, Minnella said.