Who is Sherri Papini?
Who is Sherri Papini? – Sherri Papini is an American mother from California mother who claimed she was kidnapped while out running in 2016 but later conceded her claim was a hoax, will have to pay more than $300,000 in reparations to various government institutions as part of her plea agreement, according to her plea agreement.
Sherri Papini Arrested and Charged
Papini, who was arrested by federal officials on March 3, agreed to plead guilty to one count of lying to a federal officer and one count of mail fraud on Tuesday.
For the false statements charge, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and for the mail fraud charge, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The date of her plea hearing is April 18.
Papini’s staged kidnapping cost the California Victims Compensation Board more than $30,000 in therapy visits and an ambulance ride, as well as the US Social Security Administration more than $127,000, which she will have to repay. Papini will also be required to pay $148,866 to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated the phony kidnapping, as well as $2,558 to the FBI.
Although former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani tells PEOPLE that “federal judges normally don’t issue big fines,… especially [with] someone like her who presumably doesn’t have the wherewithal to pay,” the restitution is distinct from the penalty. According to Rahmani, he expects either no fine or a little one.
According to a plea deal reached Tuesday with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, Sherri Papini, a 39-year-old mother of two, has agreed to plead guilty to a single count of mail fraud and one count of lying to a federal officer.
“I am profoundly embarrassed of my behavior and truly sorry for the anguish I’ve caused my family, friends, and all the fine people who have suffered needlessly as a result of my narrative, as well as those who have worked so hard to help me,” Papini said in a statement provided by her attorney.
Papini agreed to pay more than $300,000 in restitution to local, state, and federal entities that she is accused of defrauding through her alleged kidnapping plot as part of her plea deal. Prosecutors have also stated that they will seek a prison term on the low end of the guidelines.
Papini’s plea agreement was reached on the same day that prosecutors filed new charges against her, including 34 counts of mail fraud and one count of lying to a federal law enforcement official. Mail fraud has a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a punishment of $250,000, while lying to a federal officer carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a fine of $250,000.
The court has yet to set a date for Papini to enter her guilty pleas, according to a statement released by the US attorney’s office on Tuesday.
Papini’s incredible narrative began in December 2015, authorities said, when she used a prepaid cellphone to call an ex-boyfriend and ask for his help in fleeing her home and family in Redding, California.
Authorities allege Papini orchestrated her own kidnapping with the help of her ex-boyfriend nearly a year later, in November 2016. She directed her ex-boyfriend to pick her up and transport her to his home in Costa Mesa, California, where she voluntarily stayed for more than three weeks, leaving her cellphone and strands of her hair on a street corner.
Why did Sherri Papini pretend to be kidnapped?
Papini’s deception began on November 2, 2016, when she claimed that two armed Hispanic women tortured, brandered, and shackled her in a bedroom.
She was discovered in a parking lot on Thanksgiving Day, 22 days later. The people of Redding spent days looking for her.
The DOJ decided that Papini lied about her kidnapping after conducting an investigation.
“In reality, Papini had voluntarily stayed with a former boyfriend in Costa Mesa and had hurt herself to corroborate her fraudulent assertions,” Department of Justice officials said after her arrest.
“Not only did the 22-day search for Sherri Papini and the subsequent five-year search for who allegedly abducted her drain public resources, but it also made the general public scared for their own safety,” Shasta County Sheriff Michael L. Johnson stated.