CLEVELAND — A local estate sales business owner was in court today facing six felony theft charges. This follows a News 5 hidden camera investigation that exposed problems and claims of her stealing money and items from clients.
Owner of Cleveland Estate Liquidators Jessica Galayda walked to the podium with her attorney in Cuyahoga County Court to face those charges for the first time.
Former client Cindy Hauck remembers a conversation with Galayda. “‘I didn’t really sell that much,’” said Hauck about what Galayda told her after the sale. “Well, wait a minute, Jessica. There’s a lot of stuff gone from my house,” Hauck remembered saying.
Galayda is accused of taking items like a car, drums, even quilting supplies, and having no records of their sales or legitimate reasons for where they were.
Angie Swanson said Galayda kept a bunch of money from her sale that Galayda had no right to. “It’s about her not having any empathy for people in their life struggles,” said Swanson.
Our News 5 hidden-camera investigation caught Galayda holding sales even as clients were seeking legal action against her. “It’s weighed so heavily on my conscious that other people are finding her and using her for sales,” said former Galayda client Sara Kornokovich. “And that’s why we decided to move forward with News 5.”
Our original report:
Galayda pleaded not guilty, posted bond, and is not allowed to have any contact with the victims listed in the case. Her next court date is January 30.
This story came to us as a tip from our viewers/readers. If you have any potential stories for our News 5 Investigators, call our Tip Line at 216-431-4357 or email InvestigatorTips@WEWS.com.