Compulsive-Shopper Defense Does Not Spare Woman From Jail for Spree

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Betty Jean Barachie of Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 27 months in prison this week despite testimony from a psychologist that she was "one of the most extreme cases" of compulsive shopping he had ever seen.  Barachie admitted stealing more than $1.5 million over an eight-year period from the credit union where she worked until 2003.

She appears to have spent all of it.  According to the report, Betty Jean bought (among other things) 3,000 books, hundreds of pairs of shoes, hundreds of handbags, 58 coats, 16 chain saws, a swimming pool and a $25,000 John Deere tractor (maybe she used that to move the other items around).  Most of these items were found piled in her home with the tags still attached.

That is extreme.  Personally, I don’t see why anyone would ever need more than a dozen or so chain saws.  If you pick the colors right I would think you could accessorize that many with even a 58-coat wardrobe.

I was hoping to see a book on the list called something like "How to Overcome Your Compulsive-Shopping Addiction," and that she had bought about a thousand copies of it, but it didn’t say that.

Link: AP via MyWay News