A Northern California wife and mother of two who was accused of faking her own kidnapping in 2016 has signed a guilty plea federal prosecutors in California and documents obtained from Law&Crime.
Sherry Papini was accused of providing false information to a federal law enforcement officer and engaging in mail fraud, according to a statutory declaration Attachment to a criminal complaint and warrant filed with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. According to the FBI, in November 2016 she faked her own kidnapping by disappearing “for several weeks” while a nationwide manhunt ensued. Her husband reported her missing around 5:50 p.m. on November 2, 2016. Papini was then 34 years old.
Although a criminal complaint has been filed since March 3, 2022, the federal prosecutor’s office submitted additional information on Tuesday, April 12. under a separate file number who alleged 35 different charges – all but one of them involving mail fraud. The final count was the aforementioned allegation that Papini had given investigators false information.
An accompanying 14-page convention says Papini will plead guilty to only one count of mail fraud and the last count of lying to the FBI. According to that document, the number of postal scammers could result in a maximum penalty of “20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or double gross profit or loss, whichever is greater.” The false testimonies could carry a maximum sentence of five years and an additional quarter of a million dollars in fines.
Papini is allowed to argue that she cannot pay the fines if she is ultimately convicted document says. Federal prosecutors “will recommend that the defendant be sentenced at the lower end of the guideline values set by the court” – which the parties “likely” will result in a sentence of between eight and 14 months, according to the document.
That convention also establishes a significant restitution plan. Papini has agreed to pay “at least” $30,694.15 to the California Victims Compensation Board (“CalVCB”), $127,567.60 to the US Social Security Administration, $148,866.23 to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and $2,558.35 to to pay the FBI. That’s a total of $309,686.33 in cash payments.
the full convention contains a brief, two-page “factual basis” for the charges to which Papini has agreed to plead guilty.
According to the original criminal complaint dated March 3, Papini’s husband used a cell phone tracking system to locate his missing wife’s phone and earbuds near where she was said to have been jogging that day, the affidavit said. He later said he “thought the cellphone had been placed, which he described as odd,” the affidavit continued.
When Papini returned to society, she was claims According to various court documents, two Hispanic women had kidnapped her at gunpoint. The FBI hired an artist to create composite images of the alleged attackers. Papini claimed the pair used “instruments” to “inflict injury.” statutory declaration shows.
Turns out she was dating her ex-boyfriend and had injured herself to make it appear like she had been assaulted FBI claims:
Ex-boyfriend told investigators that PAPINI stayed at his home throughout the dates of her disappearance and that it was PAPINI who reached out to him and asked him to pick her up in Redding. DNA evidence found from PAPINI’s clothes, which she was wearing when she returned, matched her ex-boyfriend’s DNA. Phone records show that PAPINI and his ex-boyfriend spoke back in December 2015. The ex-boyfriend told investigators that he and PAPINI used prepaid phones to talk to each other; This was corroborated by evidence of two prepaid cell phones that were tied to the ex-boyfriend and would communicate with each other – one from PAPINI’s location and the other from the ex-boyfriend’s location. Historical cell phone analysis and prepaid phone billing records showed that the ex-boyfriend traveled to Redding on or about the date of PAPINI’s disappearance, PAPINI and the ex-boyfriend exchanged text messages on the morning of PAPINI’s disappearance, they met around the location , where PAPINI was Last Seen, and PAPINI and ex-boyfriend traveled to Southern California together. The ex-boyfriend’s cousin (“cousin”) told investigators that cousin saw PAPINI at the ex-boyfriend’s home on two separate occasions, both times unbridled. The ex-boyfriend also told investigators that he rented a car for him from a friend about three weeks later, and the ex-boyfriend then drove PAPINI back to Northern California, which was confirmed by rental car records and the rental car’s mileage.
When Papini was warned that lying to the FBI was a crime and faced with evidence that the kidnapping story was a hoax, she stepped in and refused to retract her story, the FBI said allegedly.
“Additionally, PAPINI caused the California Victim’s Compensation Board (“CalVCB”) to pay over $30,000 in fraudulent victim assistance funds, including reimbursements for therapy sessions, blind people, and ambulance services, based on her false kidnapping story,” he said statutory declaration shows. “At least one of these refunds was made by US mail.”
Two men, whose phone numbers were stored in Papini’s phone under female names, described Papini to the FBI in less than glowing terms, the authorities said statutory declaration:
Man 2 described PAPINI as an attention-hungry person who told stories to try to get people’s attention. Husband 2 stated that PAPINI made up stories in which she was a victim of abuse at the hands of her family, her father and then Husband 2 after the couple separated.
[ . . . ]
Investigators learned that PAPINI had a previous marriage to Man 3. The husband told investigators that PAPINI married Man 3, who was in the military, to get health insurance for a heart murmur problem. PAPINI’s mother told investigators PAPINI traveled around the world with her first husband. Investigators located Mann 3 and interviewed him on November 14, 2016. Mann 3 confirmed that he and PAPINI were married in 2006 prior to his overseas assignment and indicated that PAPINI required health insurance due to complications related to regular egg donation. Man 3 stated that he and PAPINI never lived together and never traveled together, except once when PAPINI visited Man 3 in Japan. When Man 3 returned from action, PAPINI told him she had found someone else and wanted a divorce, to which Man 3 agreed. PAPINI told Man 3 that her family abused her during her childhood. After the divorce, husband 3 found out from mutual friends that PAPINI had lied in the past.
Investigators also interviewed several of PAPINI’s friends. These friends described PAPINI as a teenager as crazy and wild. The friends shared that PAPINI used to run away, and one described an incident where PAPINI ran away from home at the age of 16, went to Southern California and stayed with friends. Several friends also stated that PAPINI would make up lies, particularly about being a victim of abuse, particularly as a youth.
The director of a youth program told the FBI that Papini “was good at creating different realities for people to see what they wanted to see, which really got her a lot of attention,” she said statutory declaration.
The now-admitted scheme began to unravel on Nov. 24, 2016, when motorists on Interstate 5 began calling 911 to report that a woman — Papini — was “standing or running in the middle of the freeway” at 4:30 a.m. FBI called. A truck driver was among those who stopped to render assistance.
The scene of Papini’s discovery was in Yolo County, California, about 146 miles south, or where she disappeared FBI wrote:
PAPINI had a chain around her waist to which one arm was tied, with additional shackles around her other wrist and each ankle. PAPINI was transported to Woodland Hospital where she underwent multiple physical exams. She seemed to have lost a considerable amount of weight and her long blond hair had been cut much shorter. She was branded on her right shoulder, although the exact content of the branding was indistinguishable. PAPINI’s nose was swollen, she had bruises on her face, rashes on her left arm and left inner thigh and other parts of her body, ligature marks on her wrists and ankles, burns on her left forearm, and bruises on her pelvis and the fronts of both legs. Toxicology results showed no significant traces of narcotics in PAPINI’s system at the time of her return, and a physical exam found no evidence of sexual assault.
A DNA sample collected from Papini’s clothing pointed the FBI to the ex-boyfriend statutory declaration continued.
the full statutory declaration is 55 pages long; it outlines the case in more detail than some of the other documents on the file.
Corresponding other court records, federal authorities also cracked down on a GoFundMe account set up to support Papini. The fundraising page is no longer active.
“I am deeply ashamed of my behavior and so sorry for the pain I have caused my family, my friends, all the good people who have suffered needlessly because of my story and those who have worked so hard to to try to help me,” the statement said. “I will work the rest of my life to make up for what I did.”
Read the original criminal complaint, information and defense agreement below:
Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]
https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/feds-will-recommend-low-sentence-for-california-woman-who-admits-she-ran-off-with-ex-boyfriend-and-made-up-abduction-hoax-docs/ FBI agents will recommend ‘light’ sentence in Sherri Papini hoax