Sherri Papini Charged For Faking Kidnapping

Sherri Papini

Sherri Papini is a woman from California whose kidnapping made national news as when she was found she was branded and had a broken nose when she was found tied up on the side of the road, turns out the whole story was fake. Sherri Papini who told authorities that she was kidnapped by two Hispanic women at gun point and that she was tortured during the time that she was missing. Sherri Papini would even give the FBI two full descriptions of her alleged assailants. However when her family and friends were worried sick about her disappearance Sherri Papini was living it up with her boyfriend in Costa Mesa and would injure herself to make her story bulletproof. Of course when the FBI comes into play and learns that they have been played by this woman people were calling Super Mom you are going to end up with some serious Federal charges. So far Sherri Papini has been charged with making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and engaging in mail fraud and is facing 20 years in prison.

Sherri Papini More News

Officials announced that 39-year-old Sherri Papini of Redding was arrested Thursday on charges of making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and engaging in mail fraud.

According to the criminal complaint filed in this case, on Nov. 2, 2016, Papini was reported missing, and extensive searches were conducted for her in Shasta County and California as well as in several other states.

The Department of Justice says at that time, Papini told law enforcement officers and others that she had been abducted and held by two Hispanic women at gunpoint and held against her will. She also provided details of the alleged abductors to an FBI sketch artist. Based on her account, law enforcement agencies were on the lookout for Hispanic women matching Papini’s description. The investigation eventually showed, however, that this was a false narrative Papini fabricated.

The DOJ says that in truth, Papini had been voluntarily staying with a former boyfriend in Costa Mesa and had harmed herself to support her false statements.

“When a young mother went missing in broad daylight, a community was filled with fear and concern,” said U.S. Attorney Talbert. “Shasta County Sheriff’s Office immediately began investigating, calling on the assistance of the FBI. Countless hours were spent following leads, all in an effort to bring this woman back to her family. Three weeks later, she was found 146 miles south of where she disappeared, and the focus went from trying to find her to trying to find her abductors. Ultimately, the investigation revealed that there was no kidnapping and that time and resources that could have been used to investigate actual crime, protect the community, and provide resources to victims were wasted based on the defendant’s conduct.”

According to the DOJ, in an interview conducted by a federal agent and a Shasta County Sheriff’s Office detective in August 2020, Papini was warned that it was a crime to lie to federal agents. She was presented with evidence that showed she had not been abducted. Instead of retracting her kidnapping story, Papini continued to make false statements about her purported abductors. In addition, Papini caused the California Victim’s Compensation Board to pay victim assistance money based on her kidnapping story. From 2017 through 2021, Papini’s request for victim assistance caused approximately 35 payments totaling over $30,000, including for visits to her therapist and for the ambulance that transported her to the hospital after her return.

“The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is very thankful for the partnerships with all of the local, state, and federal allied agencies that have been involved with this investigation for the last five-plus years,” said Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson. “The arrest of Sherri Papini was made possible by the outstanding hard work of a multitude of agents, detectives, DOJ criminalist, forensic analyst, crime scene investigators, and support staff members that were assigned to this investigation. Everyone involved in this investigation had one common goal; to find the truth about what happened on Nov. 2, 2016, with Sherri Papini and who was responsible. The 22-day search for Sherri Papini and subsequent five-year search into who reportedly abducted her was not only taxing on public resources but caused the general public to be fearful of their own safety, a fear that they should not have had to endure. The Sheriff’s Office has appreciated the support and patience from the citizens of Shasta County and abroad. This investigation has always been a priority to get solved for the Sheriff’s Office as well as for our investigating partners at the FBI and the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Forensic Services and Bureau of Investigation.”

Per the DOJ, If convicted of making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer, Papini faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. If convicted of mail fraud, she faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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