Back in the 80’s, Ronald Reagan used to tell the apocryphal story of the “welfare queens” who would pull up in Cadillacs to collect their monthly checks. Once more, we find that the Gipper was a true visionary, because in Andover, Massachusetts, that is pretty much what was happening.
According to police reports, Jennifer Stevanovich was living the high life. She banked over $280,000 over five years, bought a Range Rover, and leased a Mercedes SUV while living in a gated community in Andover.
At the same time, she reported her income as maybe a few thousand a year, far less than she needed to support herself and her two children. Accordingly, the state gave her over the same time frame $117,000 in “assistance.”
One can’t blame her for underreporting her income — she allegedly made all that money shoplifting. She would steal lingerie from Victoria’s Secret and other places, carrying it out in foil-lined bags to defeat security measures, and sell it on EBay and through other outlets.
She was finally busted not by state officials, but by officials of Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, who noticed that one seller was offering a LOT of their merchandise for sale. They set up a “sting” operation, then turned the information to police.
Well, this week Ms. Stevanovich was brought to justice. And the sentence? Restitution and 15 years probation. No jail time, said Judge Peter Agnes, who said the state has already spent enough money on her.
I’m not a Massachusetts resident (thank god), but if I were, I’d disagree with the judge. I would consider locking her up for a good, long time money well spent.