The bizarre case of Bonnie Sweeten in the state of Pennsylvania has come to a close after a judge in Philadelphia last week (January 26) handed down a 100 month—eight years and four months roughly—federal jail sentence for a series of crimes including embezzlement, fraud and for falsely accusing two Black men of kidnapping her daughter.
The Sweeten kidnapping case made headlines in May of 2009 after a call made by the 41-year old Bucks County native reported she and her daughter were kidnapped by a pair of Black men. Sweeten was arrested the following day after the call in Orlando at Disney World, fleeing to Florida with her child by using a stolen identity.
Sweeten’s embezzlement rampage began in 2005 and continued into 2009, according to prosecutors. Stealing over $600,000 in funds from the law firm that employed her, Sweeten then lifted $280,000 from an older relative suffering with dementia in order to replace stolen funds to the firm. Sweeten was nabbed in 2009 after purchasing a home, a car and also an in-vitro fertilization cycle.
Prosecutors framed Sweeten as a con artist who used her soccer mom image to hide her heinous activity. The 41-year-old mother of three even conned her second husband into believing she graduated law school.
U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn heard both sides of the case with Sweeten’s defense urging a lenient sentence while mentioning the woman had suffered plenty. Yohn, unmoved, closed the hearing by saying to Sweeten, “You’ve done great wrong and you have to pay the price.”