Bonnie Sweeten, Mom Who Faked 2009 Kidnapping, Allegedly Stole Thousands From Employer Who Gave Her 2nd Chance

In 2009, Bonnie Sweeten claimed she and her daughter were kidnapped by two Black men. The mom and daughter were found days later at Disney World. Now Sweeten is accused of stealing from the employer who gave her a second chance after prison.

A Pennsylvania woman who faked her own kidnapping 13 years ago is back in the headlines after allegedly stealing from a businessman who gave her a second chance.

In 2009, Bonnie Sweeten claimed that she and her 9-year-old daughter had been kidnapped by two Black men at an intersection in Bucks County. She called 911, claiming they were in the trunk of the kidnappers’ car. 

Her then-husband made an emotional appeal on network TV: “Let them go. There’s no reason to keep them. I don't understand why they would want to keep them. Just let them go.”

Two days later, Sweeten and her daughter were tracked down at Disney World, where they were staying at the luxurious Grand Floridian Hotel. ABC News cameras captured the emotional scene as little Julia was reunited with her family.

There was also outrage over the racial overtones of pinning the hoax kidnapping on two Black men.

Police later discovered that Sweeten had also stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from her employer, attorney Debbie Carlitz. 

“She destroyed my life. Absolutely destroyed it. She just took so much from me,” Carlitz told Inside Edition. 

Sweeten served eight years in prison. When she was released, a friend gave her a job and a golden opportunity to rebuild her life. Now federal prosecutors say Sweeten also swindled tens of thousands of dollars from him, just as she did 13 years ago.

“I felt so sorry for him. I really did, because he trusted her again. But I find that really, really amazing. Somebody actually gave her a chance to do it again,” Carlitz said. 

If convicted of the latest charge, Sweeten faces up to 40 years in prison.

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