A white suburban woman who staged a hoax kidnapping of her and her daughter and blamed it on two black men before flying to Disney World admitted Tuesday that she fled after swindling a huge sum of money from her ex-boss and an elderly relative.
Bonnie Sweeten told a 911 operator in 2009 that the men had kidnapped her and her 9-year-old daughter and stuffed them in the trunk of a Cadillac. Mother and child surfaced days later at a Disney hotel in Orlando, Fla.
Sweeten, a 40-year-old paralegal from Feasterville, just outside Philadelphia, served a year in prison for the false 911 call. She now faces a likely six to eight years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines for the fraud scheme, which prosecutors pegged at more than $1 million. She diverted more than $700,000 from client settlements and other funds at her law firm and another $280,000 from the relative's Vanguard investment account, prosecutors said.
Sweeten, a PTA mom, used the money to fund a lifestyle beyond the means of her and her second husband, a self-employed landscaper. They lived in a $425,000 house, spent thousands of dollars on infertility treatments and enjoyed a gym membership, trips, restaurant meals and other niceties.