A former Mrs. America was convicted for an elaborate scheme that allowed her to dupe Macy’s out of thousands of dollars.
A week-long trial in Hennepin County District court culminated in a jury finding Jennifer Kline guilty of felony theft by swindle on Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported.
Kline, who was dubbed Mrs. Minnesota before being crowned Mrs. America in 1989, in November 2015 spent nearly $5,800 at an Edina Macy’s, paying for her purchases with credit card, according to court documents cited by the Pioneer Press.
The 51-year-old former beauty queen then removed tags from the clothing and put them on items she already owned before bringing them back to a Macy’s located in the Mall of America.
She received a $5,501 refund for her previously worn clothes, but a store detective reported her to police after uncovering her scheme.
“Several of the clothing items returned to Macy’s were dirty and showed signs of wear,” an investigator wrote in the complaint.
Sgt. Kevin Rofidal at the time told ABC News that Kline’s offense “was more than just grabbing merchandise and walking out the door.”
“There was a lot of thought put into this,” he said. “A lot of effort.”
Kline eventually admitted she had a supply of plastic tag holders as well as the equipment to attach them to clothing. Her attorney argued that it was a simple mistake and shifted the blame to Macy’s for its easy return policy, according to the Tribune.
The felony charge allows for up to five years in prison, and she’s scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 18.
Following her successful tenure as Mrs. America, Kline appeared on national shopping networks, including the Eden Prairie-based ShopNBC, which has since been renamed as Evine.