Criminal Justice

Law Firm Manager Sentenced to Prison for Carjacking Hoax

A longtime paralegal and office manager for a Pennsylvania law firm has been sentenced to at least nine months in prison for falsely claiming she and her daughter had been carjacked.

Prosecutors said paralegal Bonnie Sweeten made the call before taking her daughter to Disney World, where she hoped to avoid repaying $280,000 stolen from the grandfather of her ex-husband, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The Bucks County mother is also under investigation for financial transactions at the Feasterville law office of her former employer, lawyer Debbie Carlitz, according to a separate Inquirer story.

Sweeten pleaded guilty to identity theft and filing a false police report, and Judge Jeffrey Finley sentenced her Thursday to nine to 23 months in prison, the Associated Press reports. Finley called Sweeten ”a calculating, manipulative, hardhearted woman.”

”Your wants, your needs, your wishes and desires came before everybody,” he said.

Past coverage: “Ex-Client Sues Law Firm, Says He Never Got $100K Settlement”

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