A former Mrs. Minnesota was convicted of felony theft by swindle last week in Hennepin County District Court. According to court documents, Jennifer Kline, of Wayzata, was charged with felony theft by swindle after prosecutors allege that she switched the price tags on some clothes that she bought at the Southdale Macy’s store.
When you hear that she was switching price tags, you probably think that Kline stuck a a cheaper price tag on a more expensive article of clothing at the store before checking out, but her ruse was a little different. Instead, Kline bought the expensive clothes at full price. She then brought the clothes home, carefully removed the price tags and then reattached them to clothes she already owned. She would then return the clothes to a different Macy’s store for a full refund, all while keeping the designer clothes for herself.
In court, Kline admitted that she had a supply of plastic tag holders and the tools to reattach the price tags to clothing. Her lawyer argued that she made a dumb mistake, but he also argued that Macy’s was partly to blame for having such an easy return policy.
Kline was ultimately found guilty of felony theft by swindle, with the amount of theft falling between $1,000 and $5,000. Under Minnesota’s Sentencing Guidelines, a felony theft case of that magnitude is punishable by fines up to $10,000 and up to five years in jail. However, since it’s her first offense, she will face a stayed sentence and up to a year in jail. She may also be ordered to compensate Macy’s for the value of the clothes she stole.
Kline, 51, won the Mrs. Minnesota crown in 1989 and was a TV host on the Shop NBC/Evine Line program. She will return to court for sentencing on October 18.
You might not think you’re causing any harm by stealing from the big box stores who do millions in sales every day, but that doesn’t mean it’s fine in the eyes of the law. You can face serious punishments, including fines, jail time and the potential loss of your job, so it’s just not worth it. If you or a friend have been busted for a stupid mistake and you need legal help, reach out to the experienced lawyers at Appelman Law Firm today.