September 8, 2011 (WHEATON, Ill.) --
A suburban Chicago woman who failed to show up in DuPage County Circuit Court for a sentencing hearing was given a 10 year sentence anyhow. Bridgette Buckner pleaded guilty earlier this year to insurance and wire fraud charges for falsely reporting that a variety of family members had died in order to collect life insurance benefits. Officials say Buckner collected about $70,000.
She disappeared after entering her plea, and an arrest warrant was issued.
Judge John Kinsella on Wednesday ordered Buckner to prison for what he called her "ongoing fraudulent behavior" which he said included disappearing while free on bond.
Defense attorney Matthew Hachigian asked for a probation sentence for Buckner, saying she needed psychological counseling rather than a prison term.