Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

US woman pleads guilty to faking 2016 kidnapping

US woman pleads guilty to faking 2016 kidnapping

A California woman has pleaded guilty to faking her own high-profile kidnapping and lying to authorities in 2016.
Sherri Papini, 39, vanished while running near her home, only to reappear three weeks later on Thanksgiving.

At the time, she claimed two Hispanic women kidnapped her, sparking a massive manhunt.

The FBI later concluded she was at an ex-boyfriend's house and inflicted injuries on herself.

The crime earned Papini the nickname "California's Gone Girl" - after a popular novel and film in which the protagonist executes a similar hoax.

It remains unclear why Papini staged the kidnapping, and she has offered no explanation. In court on Monday, she told the judge she felt "very sad".

As part of the guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of between eight and 14 months in custody, far below the 25 years she could have faced for the charges of mail fraud and lying to federal agents.

She has also agreed to pay $300,000 (£230,917) in restitution, part of which will cover the police search for her and investigation into the alleged captors.

Controversy has swirled around Papini since November 2016, when her husband reported her missing after she failed to pick up their children from day care, triggering a massive search effort.

Three weeks later, she was found on the side of a road, battered and bruised and with restraints on her waist and wrists. Police said she had also been branded and her hair had been cut.

After an exhaustive hunt for her alleged captors, the FBI announced in March this year that it found she had staged the whole affair.

In a 55-page criminal complaint, the FBI said that she spent her disappearance at the home of an ex-boyfriend, with whom she had communicated using prepaid "burner phones" as early as December 2015.

The complaint adds that Papini "harmed herself to support her false statements", sometimes with the ex-boyfriend's help. This included "hitting herself to create bruises and burning herself on her arms".

While Papini has offered no motive for the crimes, the FBI complaint includes witness statements from long-time acquaintances which said she has "a history of lying" to get attention.

Her lawyer has previously suggested she suffered from mental health issues.

On Monday, Papini said that since the incident she has been treated for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.

The treatment was paid for using money from a state victim compensation fund, which she must now pay back as part of her restitution.

She is due to be sentenced on 11 July.

Related Articles

Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Global Law Enforcement Dismantles Lockbit Ransomware Operation
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
The President of Argentina Javier Mile does not fly private, he flies commercial, with the citizens he represents. And they LOVE him for it.
Bitcoin Reaches $50,000 for First Time in Over Two Years
Belo Horizonte: Brazil's Rising Carnival Hotspot for 2024
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Tucker’s interview with Putin is over 50M views on X within the first 5 hours.
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
President Nayib Bukele has proudly announced El Salvador's remarkable achievement of becoming the safest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
Former Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Dies in Helicopter Crash
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
Facebook turns 20: From Mark Zuckerberg's dormitory to a $1trn company
The Coolest Dictator in the World" on the Path to Victory in El Salvador
Macron, France and fake news
Indian-Origin Man 'King' Arrested For Smuggling $16 Million Drugs Into US
Can someone teach Americans that not every person with slanted eyes is Chinese?
Europe's Farmers Feeding the People, Protesting Against Politicians Who Do Nothing for Their Country and Serve Only Themselves at Taxpayers' Expense
Paris Restaurant That Inspired 'Ratatouille' Loses $1.6 Million Worth Of Wine
Brazilian Police Investigate Bolsonaro's Son for Alleged Illegal Spying
Police in Brazil Raid Residence of Bolsonaro Associate Over Allegations of Illegal Spying
Border Dispute Escalates as Texas Governor Vows Increased Razor Wire
OpenAI Enhances ChatGPT-4 Model, Potentially Addressing AI "Laziness" Issue
The NSA finally acknowledges spying on Americans by acquiring sensitive data
Report Reveals Toxic Telegram Group Generating X-Rated AI-Generated Fake Images of Taylor Swift
US Border Patrol States 'No Plans' to Remove Razor Wire Installed in Texas
Bitcoin Experiences Approximately 20% Decline in Value
Klaus Schwab recently appointed himself as the Earth's "trustee of the future."
DeSantis Drops Out, Endorses Trump.
Nikki Haley said former President Trump is "just not at the same level" of mental fitness as he was while president in 2016.
Residents of a southern Mexican town set the government palace on fire in response to the police killing of a young man
Samsung Launches AI-Driven Galaxy S24, Ushering in New Smartphone Era
Judge Questions SEC's Regulatory Overreach in Coinbase Lawsuit
The Ecuador prosecutor who was investigating the television studio attack, has been assassinated.
Is artificial intelligence the solution to cyber security threats?
Vivek Ramaswamy suspends his US election campaign and endorses Trump.
Viral Satire: A Staged Satirical Clip Mistaken as Real Footage from the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos
The AI Revolution in the Workforce: CEOs at Davos Predict Major Job Cuts in 2024
Ecuador Reports 178 Hostages in Prison Gang Standoff
The Startling Cuban Espionage Case That Has Rattled the US Government
Two Armed Men in Ecuador, Dressed as Batman and The Joker Storm the Streets.
Armed Gang Raids Ecuadorian TV Station Following State of Emergency Declaration
Anti-Democratic Canada: Journalist Arrested for Questioning Canadian Finance Minister on Support of Terrorist Group
Ecuador's 'Most-Wanted' Criminal Vanishes from Prison
Mexican Cartel Supplied Wi-Fi to Locals Under Threat of Fatal Consequences for Non-Compliance
Border Surge Leads to Over 11,000 Migrants Waiting in Northern Mexico
Outsider Candidates Triumph in Latin American Elections
As Argentina Goes to the Polls, Will the Proposal to Replace the Peso with the Dollar Secure Votes?
Fatal Shark Attack Claims Life of Boston Woman Paddleboarding Near Bahamas Resort, According to Police