Watch CBSN Live

Alleged Abduction Hoaxer A Big Embezzler?

A published report says the woman charged with making a fake 911 call, claiming she and her daughter had been stuffed in a car trunk, then going to Disney World, is being probed in the possible theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Bonnie Sweeten waived her right to extradition at a hearing in Orlando, Fla. Friday and was to be returned to Bucks County, Pa. to face charges.

The alleged ruse began outside Philadelphia when, police say, Sweeten phoned 911 on Tuesday afternoon and told them she and her 9-year-old daughter had been carjacked and stuffed in the trunk of a dark Cadillac in Upper Southampton Township.

The call touched off a frantic search for the pair that ended 30 hours later when police handcuffed Sweeten as she and the child returned to their hotel at the amusement park Wednesday night.

Police say she drained several bank accounts and took a co-worker's driver's license before boarding a flight to Orlando.

Sweeten has been charged with filing a false report and identity theft, both misdemeanors. Records listed no lawyer for her yet.

"Those are both relatively small charges -- less than a year in jail if she's convicted of those charges," CBS News legal analyst Lisa Bloom. "The bigger question is on these new allegations of financial improprieties. Those are felonies. If convicted of any of those she could face many years behind bars."

The missing girl, Julia Rakoczy, was reunited with her father at an Orlando police station on Thursday afternoon, authorities said. She flew back to Philadelphia with her father, and police escorted them off the plane.

"The daughter was very concerned for her mother," said Jim Solomons, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "To see any one of your parents arrested and taken to jail and then you're put in protective custody ... that's a terrible situation for anyone, much less a kid."

A neighbor of Sweeten's told CBS News correspondent Pryia David Sweeten has "had a lot to deal with the last couple of years. She had eight miscarriages. She's had a lot going on It's just hard."

At Julia's school, parents told David that Sweeten was very involved, and led a membership drive for the a parent-teacher group last year. They say she seemed friendly and very dependable.

Sweeten fled as she was being investigated for theft from a relative and perhaps others, authorities said. No charges had been filed in that probe.

She worked for 15 years for Debbie Carlitz, a lawyer in suburban Philadelphia whose law license has been inactive or suspended in recent years, according to state documents. Sweeten is listed as a director at a foundation Carlitz runs, The Carlitz Foundation, which according to its Web site raises money for autism research and for people in Burma.

The charity is not registered in Pennsylvania or listed in Guidestar, a national database of IRS-recognized charities.

Carlitz, reached by phone Thursday morning, said she was not sure whether any money was missing from her coffers.

"I can't (tell you) right now," she said. "I need to gather the information myself."

The Bucks County Courier Times, citing police, said the embezzlement may total several hundred thousand dollars. Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry did not return messages for comment Thursday.

Sweeten lived with her husband, landscaper Richard L. "Larry" Sweeten, in a $425,000 house in a new development in bucolic Bucks County. She also has a 15-year-old daughter by ex-husband Anthony Rakoczy, who lives nearby, and an 8-month-old girl with Sweeten.

Larry Sweeten told Philadelphia television station WPVI-TV on Thursday that he has not spoken to his wife since her arrest.

"They said I wouldn't be able to talk to her until she gets back to Pennsylvania," he said.

According to the police complaint, Bonnie Sweeten withdrew more than $12,000 from several bank accounts in the past week.

She then went to the home of former co-worker Jillian Jenkinson on Tuesday afternoon and said she needed to make a copy of her driver's license to roll over her 401(k) retirement account, the papers said. Sweeten then took her friend's license to the airport, where she paid cash to book a flight in Jenkinson's name.

She also booked the motel room under that name and paid for it through Friday, the FBI said.

Jenkinson told reporters someone had cashed a $4,000 check from the 401(k) account made out to Jenkinson. "It's crazy," she said. "No one understands what's going on."

"This (Sweeten) is clearly a very disturbed woman," CBS News' Bloom says. "I'm going to look for some kind of an insanity defense or diminished capacity defense. If she gets a good attorney they're going to send her to a psychiatrist for a full evaluation. Clearly something is going on with her."

Police staked out the Disney complex after learning of the alleged identity switch and confirming through airport security video that mother and daughter had boarded the Orlando flight. Concerned about the girl's safety, they waited at the hotel for them to return Wednesday night.

"We didn't know this woman's state of mind," said agent J.J. Klaver, the FBI spokesman in Philadelphia.

Henry, without giving specifics, suggested Sweeten was suffering from domestic and financial concerns.