12 May 2009

Mrs. New Jersey Heather DiCarlo was jailed

Former Mrs. New Jersey 2005 is going to jail. Heather "Hedy" Di Carlo is the beauty queen with the not so beautiful checking account.

She was sentenced today to one year in jail for spending buying $70,000 worth of antique furniture with bounced checks. Added on that sentence is five years probation.

A judge characterized the former Mrs. New Jersey as a "master of deception" whose looks and charitable work masked a darker side. State Superior Court Judge Torkwase Sekou had sharp words for Heather, as she handed down the sentence of a year minus a day, the maximum allowed under a plea agreement reached with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office in January.

"A lot of people come to this courtroom every day, and not one has had even close to the privileged life Ms. DiCarlo has had," Sekou said. "The difference is she is a master of deception. It would send a bad message to people who are much less fortunate to give her just a slap on the wrist."

Dressed in a white pants suit with her dark hair pulled back in a ponytail, DiCarlo dabbed at tears during the proceeding. She appeared distraught when handcuffed by a court officer as Sekou handed down the sentence, but the cuffs were removed minutes later when the judge agreed to let her report to the Essex County Jail on June 8, after her children's school graduations.

"I completely agree with your sentencing and I will abide by it," DiCarlo told Sekou. "I accept full responsibility."

She pleaded guilty in January to theft by deception and writing bad checks. Her attorney, Paul Bergrin, says she fell into debt after a divorce.

Bergrin says Di Carlo will probably serve about 60 days of her sentence.