EDINA, Minn. (KMSP) - A former Mrs. America and home shopping network host from Wayzata, Minn. was charged with theft by swindle, in a scheme that cost Macy's more than $5,000, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.
Jennifer Susan Kline, 50, allegedly conducted multiple fraudulent returns of merchandise purchased at Southdale Mall in Edina, and returned to Macy's at Mall of America.
On Nov. 5, 2015, Kline purchased $2,884 worth of designer clothing at the Southdale Macy's, and spent $2,907 more at the same Macy's the next day. On Nov. 11 and Nov. 30, she returned several articles of clothing to the Macy's at Mall of America and was refunded $5,501.
In early December, a Macy's detective was told about the returns and discovered "the tags and labels had been switched on all of the clothing items returned," court documents said. Kline had allegedly removed the labels from her early November purchases and affixed them to other clothing items.
"Several of the clothing items returned to Macy's were dirty and showed signs of wear," court documents stated. "Due to the label switching, it is not possible to identify the original brand of the item of the store from which the item was originally purchased."
In a search conducted at her residence, Edina Police located approximately 24 clothing items that had been purchased on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, and were supposedly returned on Nov. 11 and Nov. 30.
"Macy's sustained a total loss on the refunded items," the criminal complaint stated.
Kline made her first court appearance Tuesday afternoon and will return to court on May 9. She is currently not in custody, but faces up to 10 years in prison and/or $20,000 for the felony.
Kline was crowned Mrs. America in 1989 and had been a host on ShopNBC/EVINE Live. She was also a member of the "Real Housewives of the Twin Cities," in a segment created by Mpls.St. Paul Magazine.