Bonnie Sweeten sentenced to 100 months

PHILADELPHIA - January 26, 2012

40-year-old Bonnie Sweeten of Feasterville could have received up to ten years, but the judge backed away from the maximum after she made an impassioned plea for herself and for her children.

"How could I do these things to people that trusted me," Sweeten said in court.

Sweeten made national headlines three years ago when she staged an elaborate kidnapping hoax.

She called police claiming she was in the trunk of a car, forced there by two men who rammed her car.

Instead, she was on a plane to Disney World with her 9-year-old daughter.

"I ran away, knowing that I dug a hole for myself I couldn't get out of," Sweeten said in court.

Sweeten had stolen more than a million dollars over four years from friends, relatives, clients and her boss.

For that, she got a sentence today of 8 years and four months.

She has already served a year and a half of that time awaiting trial and has served a year in Bucks County prison for the kidnapping hoax.

"Due to my decisions, my daughters have not had their mother at home with them for two and a half years," Sweeten said.

Sweeten has three daughters, ages 18, 12 and 3. She profusely apologized to them and her victims.

"My actions were cruel and sick, especially...What I did was wrong to clients as well, but, then do it to your family as well, I'm very ashamed of myself," Sweeten said.

Sweeten's former boss, Debbie Carlitz, wasn't buying any of it. "I thought [the sentence] was fair," Carlitz said.

When asked she believed Sweeten's apology, Carlitz replied, "Absolutely not."

Sweeten also tearfully apologized to her parents who left court without comment.

She hurt a lot of people, and will have at least six more years in jail to think about it.

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