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Bucks County Mom In Kidnap Hoax Pleads Guilty In Fraud Case

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Bonnie Sweeten

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Bucks County mom who fabricated a kidnapping tale and fled to Florida in 2009 with her 9-year-old daughter to avoid charges she took thousands of dollars from an elderly relative and the law firm where she worked, plead guilty to fraud and identity theft Tuesday. She now faces a September 21 sentencing date.

40-year-old Bonnie Sweeten, her brunette hair at shoulder length and wearing a green prison-issued jumpsuit, stood before U.S. District Judge William Yohn Jr. and pleaded guitly to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft – two of 23 charges lodged against her.

Sweeten, of Feasterville, admitted to taking more than $700,000 from the law firm where she was a paralegal, and $280,000 from an elderly relative.

“We will be arguing at the time of sentencing for a sentence that will reflect a fair and accurate representation of the facts of this case and the person that Bonnie Sweeten is by presenting mitigating factors on her behalf,” said Sweeten’s attorney, public defender James McHugh.

Pat Ciarrocchi reports…

Prosecutor Denise Wolf says, “She’s facing a guideline range of 70-to-87 months on top of that a mandatory minimum of two years for the aggravated identity thefts.

Bonnie Sweeten served a 10-month prison sentence in Bucks County for a conviction on charges from the kidnap hoax. She was taken into federal custody on fraud charges immediately after being released from Bucks County Prison in June 2010.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio

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