Jennifer Kline, a 51-year-old former beauty queen, is facing five years in prison after she was convicted of felony theft. Kline was arrested for switching price tags on clothes she bought and returned at a local Minnesota Macy’s. Kline was convicted of one count of felony theft by swindle charge.
According to the Hannepin County District Attorney’s office, Kline, who won the 1989 Mrs. America Pageant-winner, was found guilty of stealing more than $5,500 worth of merchandise from the Macy’s in Southdale, Minnesota. She faces up to five years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 18.
Local authorities say that Kline would buy clothes at the Southdale Macy’s. She would then take the price tags off the new clothes and attach them to old clothing, then returning them to the Macy’s at the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington, Minnesota.
Kline would ask for full refund for the item by showing the receipts for the clothes purchased at the Macy’s in Southdale.
The trial in Hennepin County District Court lasted a week. The jury determined that the amount of the theft was more than $1,000 but less than $5,000.
The scheme, according to court documents, involved Kline buying expensive clothes, then taking them home and attaching the price tags from the new clothes onto clothing she already owned. She would then return the old clothes to a different Macy’s store for a large refund on her credit card.
Kline admitted that she had a supply of plastic tag holders and the equipment to attach the price tags to clothing.
Her attorney argued that Kline made a dumb mistake but that it was Macy’s fault for having such an easy return policy. Kline, 51, won the title of Mrs. Minnesota in 1989 and was a TV host on the ShopNBC/Evine Live program.
Although Minnesota state law recommended a five-year sentence for Klien’s charges, the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines asked for a stayed sentence and up to a year in jail as punishment