Sherri Papini, who faked being kidnapped, still owes $300,000 and prosecutors aim to collect

Sherri Papini, the woman who fabricated her own elaborate kidnapping and went to prison for mail fraud and lying to federal agents, still owes more than $300,000 in restitution, federal officials say.

Papini, 41, was ordered to pay $309,902 in restitution when she was sentenced to federal prison in September 2022, nearly six years after she staged her own kidnapping and kicked off a frantic search that made national headlines.

But as of March 22, federal officials say, Papini still owes nearly all of that money.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California filed an application for writ of garnishment worth $340,221.23 against Papini, which includes a 10% litigation surcharge.

Also targeted in the writ is the law firm representing Papini in her divorce. The filing claims Papini has a “substantial nonexempt interest in property” that is in “the possession, custody, or control of” the law firm.

Sacramento-based attorney William Portanova, who represented Papini in her federal case, acknowledged during her September 2022 sentencing hearing that she was unlikely to be able to afford the payments.

“Sherri Papini was ordered to make full restitution as part of her case resolution before U.S. District Court Judge William B. Shubb, and Ms. Papini continues to honor her promise to do so,” Portanova wrote in an emailed statement. “The Court and the Government are fully aware of Ms. Papini’s current financial condition. Nothing has changed.”

Papini went missing from her Redding, Calif., home for 22 days in 2016, setting off search parties across rural Shasta County and desperate pleas for help by her then-husband, Keith Papini.

Three weeks later, Papini reappeared on the side of a highway in Yolo County, bruised and emaciated, with her long blond hair sheared short and right shoulder branded.

Papini initially alleged she was kidnapped while out for a run by two Latinas at gunpoint and that they held her captive before letting her go.

Instead, Papini had gone south to Costa Mesa with an ex-boyfriend, holing up with him for several weeks while her family and community back home searched for her.

Papini maintained her story for years, even when the investigation into her kidnapping led law enforcement back to the ex-boyfriend. It all started to crumble in August 2020, when Papini was confronted by investigators in an interview and was warned that it was a crime to lie to federal officers.

Papini stuck with her story for another year and a half before federal authorities arrested the “super mom” in March 2022 and charged her with mail fraud and lying to authorities.

The ex-boyfriend had told investigators that Papini had injured herself and cut her own hair, and that he had helped her brand her shoulder with a wood-burning tool. After she said she missed home and her family, he drove her back up to the Redding area; she reappeared in Woodland, roughly 150 miles south, on Thanksgiving.

Papini pleaded guilty in April 2022 and was later sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution “for losses incurred by the California Victim Compensation Board, the Social Security Administration, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Papini had received $30,000 from the state’s victim compensation fund, which is money set aside for victims of crime and their families, and used it in part to pay for therapy sessions and window blinds. She was released from federal prison to community confinement six months early in August 2023.

“I’m so sorry to the many people who suffered because of me,” Papini said in court when she was sentenced. “I am guilty, your honor. I am guilty of lying, guilty of dishonor.”

Original News Source Link – LA Times

Running For Office? Check out Election Day Strategies

FREE NEWS IN YOUR INBOX!

You Can Unsubscribe At Any Time!


This will close in 0 seconds