HOUSTON – A federal judge ordered Mrs. Florida 2016 to one month in prison for stealing her 83-year-old mother’s Social Security checks, which were intended to cover the costs of nursing home care.
WPLG reports the former pageant queen, Karyn Turk, was also sentenced to five months of house arrest after her release and is required to perform 100 hours of community service in a nursing home, according to the Palm Beach Post.
Turk and her lawyers attempted to convince the judge that the social media harassment received after pleading guilty to Social Security fraud in September was punishment enough.
According to WPLG, Turk brought a check for $46,000 to court to reimburse the government. Despite leading an otherwise law-abiding life, the judge could not ignore the seriousness of her crime. Buying her way out of jail wasn’t an option.
“Choices in life have consequences, I’m sorry to tell you, if you steal from the government, you’re not going to have a reputation as an honest person,” the judge said. “The message I’m sending you is: You can’t steal from the government and not go to jail.”
A Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detective found that Turk blew the money from her mother’s Social Security, Veteran’s Administration and pension checks on personal expenses. Turk used the checks on shopping sprees, dinners and a nanny for her children instead of paying $219,000 in nursing home bills according to WPLG.