Lawyers: 25-Year-Old Stole From Country Clubs to Feed “Affluenza” Addiction

Prosecutors say a 25-year-old man who repeatedly burglarized some of the D.C. area's most affluent country clubs was feeding his "affluenza."

Samuel Joseph Goldenberg, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday and ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution. Prosecutors say that's only a portion of the value of the goods Goldenberg stole and resold to feed his lavish lifestyle.

"This slew of crimes was committed against people and property in very affluent neighborhoods and he himself came from such a background," Ramon Korionoff with the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office told News4.

Goldenberg roamed the country clubs and escaped detection there, but surveillance video and pawn shop records told a different story.

Officials said Goldenberg was captured on surveillance video at the Congressional and Potomac country clubs, sneaking in empty-handed and leaving with car keys, purses, watches, jewelry and other high-end goods.

Over the course of a year, nearly two dozen people fell victim to Goldenberg's burglaries, they said.


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"He was able to navigate the hallways and locker rooms of these facilities as if he knew exactly where to look," Korionoff said.

Goldenberg's crimes were also recorded in the form of pawn shop records, where he would re-sell the stolen items.

In one of the heftier heists, Goldenberg walked away with more than $50,000 worth of briefcases and high-end jewelry. Much of it was pawned.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of felony theft. During the time he was stealing from the country clubs, he was already on probation for theft.

In court, prosecutors said he tried to blame the crimes on his drug addiction.

However, they said this wasn't about feeding a drug problem -- it was more about affluenza, wanting more money to support his lavish lifestyle.

The term "affluenza" gained national attention earlier this year when a North Texas teenager was sentenced to probation following a drunken-driving crash that left four people dead. The teen's attorneys claimed the boy's affluence fostered a sense of irresponsibility.

But Goldenberg faces a much stiffer punishment in Montgomery County.

"No matter what part of the county you come from, it you're going to commit crimes, you're going to do the time," Korionoff said.

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