WBBM Chicago is reporting an interesting story about a former northwest Indiana town employee who stole nearly $300,000 from the state. Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak didn’t give Rosemary Barath, 68, of Merrillville, Indiana prison time, in part because she has no prior criminal convictions and has repaid $80,000 of the amount she stole, but he is requiring the woman take out a reverse mortgage.
To help payback the rest of the money, Stefaniak told the former bookkeeper in the Merrillville clerk-treasurer’s office she must obtain a reverse mortgage on her home to pay back the state. According to the article, Barath also had a bit of a gambling problem and must put herself on a "no trespass" list at all casinos within 50 miles of Merrillville, attend Gambler’s Anonymous meetings two or three times a week, and pay back the money.
I’ve never heard of a judge requiring someone to get a reverse mortgage, but it’s definitely an interesting concept.