At the sentencing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart said, “The message I’m sending is: You can’t steal from the government and not go to jail,” the Palm Beach Post reported.
“Choices in life have consequences, I’m sorry to tell you,” Reinhart said. “If you steal from the government, you’re not going to have a reputation as an honest person.”
Reinhart also sentenced her to 100 hours of community service, to be done at a nursing home.
Turk’s attorney, David Tarras, said the sentence would harm his client’s career, the Palm Beach Post reported. She is to report on March 2 to begin her prison sentence.
Turk is a vocal supporter of President Trump and has established herself as a conservative media personality, interviewer, radio host and social media figure since his election. Turk has just shy of 60,000 followers on Instagram and 7,900 on Twitter. She hosts the interview show “Behind the Headlines” and provides political and news commentary for RT International, a news outlet funded by the Russian government.
She has also defended longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone, who was indicted on federal charges of lying to Congress and tampering with evidence and was subsequently found guilty of all counts in November. He faces a maximum of 50 years in prison and is to be sentenced in February. The Sun Sentinel reported that in September, Turk hosted a fundraiser to support Stone.
Turk told The Washington Post via email and in a phone conversation that she thought the judge was trying to make an example of her by sending her to prison.
“I would say that I was unfairly treated in large part … because I was a public figure,” she said. She said she plans to appeal.
Turk is being sued by the Finnish American Rest Home, where her mother had stayed since 2015; by Schafer’s appointed guardian, Amy Nicol; and by Nicol’s lawyers, court records show. In its complaint, the nursing home claims it is owed more than $219,000 by Turk.
In turn, Turk is suing the Finnish American Rest Home for allegedly failing to provide Schafer with adequate care, and she claims the lawsuits against her are “completely financially motivated.”
After her sentencing, Turk also posted a photo of herself on Instagram that showed her standing in front of Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s Palm Beach club.
In an interview with West Palm Beach ABC affiliate WPBF after being sentenced to prison, she also borrowed one of the president’s go-to defenses.
“In a lot of ways, this seems like a witch hunt against me, and I think a lot of it is because of my political affiliation,” Turk said.