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Home » News » Watkins Glen man who stole $300,000+ from local hardware store sentenced to 5-15 years

Watkins Glen man who stole $300,000+ from local hardware store sentenced to 5-15 years

  • / Updated:
  • Josh Durso 

The Schuyler County District Attorney’s Office says a Watkins Glen man was sentenced to 5-15 years in prison after stealing over $300,000 from his former employer.

Louis Latorre, 48, was sentenced Thursday to 5-15 years in prison for stealing nearly $300,000 from Watkins Glen Supply and $131,865 from the Department of Social Services.

Latorre was an employee of Watkins Glen Supply for over seven years, from 2013 through 2020. He pleaded guilty to two counts of grand larceny and three counts of offering a false instrument for filing, as well as welfare fraud and falsifying business records.

According to prosecutors Latorre pled guilty to each charge against him in an effort to obtain leniency from Judge Hayden at the time of sentencing. However, he was sentenced to the maximum amount of time for each charge based on prosecutors recommendations.

Judge Hayden took note during sentencing that this theft of nearly “half a million dollars” was one of the largest thefts he could recall in Schuyler County. All sentences will run concurrently with one another.

Latorre was initially charged after David Kelly, the owner of Watkins Glen Supply, watched a security video showing him taking money out of the cash register and placing it in his pocket. That led to an investigation and audit of Watkins Glen Supply business records conducted by David Kelly, the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department, and the District Attorney’s Office.

The investigation established that Latorre had stolen over $300,000 from the store by creating fake customer returns and then pocketing the cash. He did this for seven years between 2013 and 2020. Once the theft from Watkins Glen Supply was established, DA Fazzary reported such to the Schuyler County Department of Social Services. The Fraud Detection Unit then commenced a second investigation into Latorre and it was determined that he had filed false applications and re-certifications for benefits by failing to list the stolen money from Watkins Glen Supply as an income source. Based upon the false records he filed, Latorre was deemed eligible for benefits in excess of $130,000 that he was otherwise not entitled to.

Louis Latorre’s wife, Kimberly Latorre, has been arrested in connection with the Welfare Fraud case. She awaits trial, prosecutors said.