Police: Daughter stole $600K from father's auto shop in Norwich

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Danielle Kolashuk
Danielle Kolashuk

Norwich — Police have charged the daughter of an auto repair shop owner with stealing more than $600,000 from his business to pay for bills, taxes and gambling debts.

Danielle Kolashuk, 49, of 1412 Route 163, Oakdale, was charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery when she turned herself in to police Friday morning. She was arraigned Friday in Norwich Superior Court, where her bond was set at $50,000. Her case was transferred to Superior Court Part A in New London, where major crimes are handled, and her next court date will be Aug. 6.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Kolashuk worked as bookkeeper and handled financial transactions for Superior Auto at 92 Stonington Road, owned by her father. Ronald Daigneault opened the shop in 1977, its website says.

Police said they began investigating when a bank reported in March 2017 that Kolashuk tried to deposit a check from her father’s retirement account into her personal account. The bank employee believed the signature on the check was forged, police said.

Police said Kolashuk was the company’s office manager at the time and held power of attorney for her father.

The victim provided police with a forensic audit, and from those records Officer Christopher Hawrylik calculated alleged fraudulent transactions totaling $614,583.43, police said. The affidavit stated that the forensic audit revealed 2,895 lines of financial records had been "manipulated to cover up embezzlement, skimming, check tampering and payroll fraud."

The affidavit also listed extensive gambling debts allegedly incurred by Kolashuk, totaling more than $1 million at Foxwoods Resort Casino, although Kolashuk had not been to Foxwoods in the past 10 years, and "lifetime" losses at Mohegan Sun Casino totaled $815,490.

In an interview with police, Kolashuk said she was part owner of the business and had authority to use the business bank account. She denied taking any money not owed to her and accused her father of "trying to steal from her," the affidavit stated. She also had power of attorney to use her father's bank accounts. The two became estranged with personal arguments.

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