Woman accused of fraudulently selling foals for $5,000 to $6,500 apiece pleads not guilty
A Perris animal rescue operator accused of selling unborn horses for $5,000 to $6,500 apiece, and then refusing to relinquish the foals after they reached a certain age pleaded not guilty Friday to grand theft and other charges.
Susan Violet Guillot, 60, of Good Hope, was arrested in early July following a Riverside County sheriff’s investigation.
Along with six counts of grand theft, Guillot is charged with one count each of conducting business without a permit and failing to pay sales and use taxes, both misdemeanors.
The defendant was arraigned before Superior Court Judge Sam Diaz, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Oct. 6 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. Guillot is free on a $34,000 bond.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Brosche, detectives were alerted to potential acts of fraud by the defendant in April 2016.
Brosche alleged that Guillot advertised horses for sale through her business, Second Hand Souls Animal Rescue, which according to court documents is at 28281 Robert St. in Perris.
An arrest warrant affidavit filed by sheriff’s Detective Michele Huskey stated that the defendant sold in-utero foals for $5,000 to $6,500 each. Contracts were signed to take possession of the equines, and on seven occasions, “the victims were allowed to visit the pregnant mare and the foal once it was born,” Huskey wrote.
“The contracts (specified) that when the foal (reached) 6 months old and had been weaned from its mother, the buyer (would) be able to have their horse. However, Susan never allowed the victims to have their horse,” the affidavit said.
In several cases, the defendant informed would-be owners that their foals had been stillborn, though she provided no veterinary documentation, according to the declaration. Guillot allegedly refused to refund the monies paid.
The investigation identified […]