Contractor avoids jail by paying back dead Stamford client
STAMFORD — A Redding contractor accused of stealing more than $80,000 from a dying Glenbrook man can avoid jail and a felony conviction if he pays back the victim’s family.
Jonathan Gallo, 38, has pleaded guilty to third-degree larceny, but will be allowed to take back his plea and the conviction if pays back the remaining $22,000 he owes John Shugure’s family.
Shugure, 62, died in July 2016 and his brother soon noticed suspicious withdrawals from his brother’s account after his death.
Gallo was arrested in September 2017 and charged with first-degree larceny. Gallo told police Shugure was a hoarder who needed lot of cleaning, painting and drywall repair at his rental apartment.
Sgt. Steve Perrotta said Shugure’s apartment was a mess when he died. Perrotta said there were water stains on the ceiling, burn marks on the tiles as well as damage to the radiators and a broken toilet.
Mark Sherman, Gallo’s Stamford criminal lawyer, said his client was relieved and grateful for the anticipated dismissal of the charges.
“Jon is a hard working, respected contractor in town,” Sherman said. “This particular job was complicated by the client’s death and we’re relieved the court has assisted in their fair resolution and making everyone whole.”
According to the plea agreement, Gallo has already paid the family $40,000 and planned to make another $22,000 payment on Friday. Judge Gary White, who took Gallo’s guilty plea, said he would take the plea back and vacate the conviction if he repays the $22,000 debt to the family in the next year.
When White asked if the state’s facts of the case were essentially correct, Gallo said, “Yes.”
White also granted Gallo a court diversionary program for first-time offenders. The probationary program will last one year in Gallo’s case.
White told Gallo the deal would be voided if he did not reimburse the family in full or if he gets arrested for any offense in the next year.