Sherri Papini of Redding, who drew worldwide attention in 2016 after claiming she was abducted while running near her home, agreed to plead guilty to fraud and lie to the FBI about the incident.
The 39-year-old woman has signed an agreement admitting charges against her, which include mail fraud and lying about the kidnapping, according to Niki Serna, a legal assistant who works with William Portanova, Papini’s lawyer.
Serna confirmed that the indictment agreement was signed on Tuesday morning, but did not give further details about the case.
Papini has been charged in the United States District Court in Sacramento with thirty-four counts of mail fraud and one count of making false statements, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In the plea agreement, Papini agreed to plead guilty to a single charge of mail fraud and a charge of making false statements. Papini was arrested on March 3 on the basis of a criminal complaint filed that day.
The court has not yet set a date for Papini to plead guilty.
The mother of two faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000 for making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer. She faces a maximum legal sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000 for mail fraud, federal officials said.
The actual sentence, however, will be determined by a federal judge.
Papini disappeared on November 2, 2016, alleging that two Hispanic women ordered him to get into a van at gunpoint while jogging near his home north of Redding.
She miraculously returned again on Thanksgiving Day on a remote rural road north of Sacramento, tied with chains and her hair cut.
His abduction caught the attention of the media nationwide. But authorities allege that during the time she was missing she was dating an ex-boyfriend in Southern California.
Prosecutors say he not only misled investigators and wasted countless law enforcement resources, but also benefited from about $ 30,000 in payments from the California Victims Compensation Board.
The sensational case caught worldwide attention and acquired racial connotations when Papini, who is white, told investigators that her captors were two “Hispanic women,” but did not provide a detailed identification of them despite claiming they spent 22 days as captives.
Prosecutors say the women were invented as part of Papini’s deception and that he was voluntarily in Costa Mesa, California, with an ex-boyfriend all the time.
DNA tests eventually led to the ex-boyfriend and helped solve the five-year-old’s case, according to a 55-page criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Through his lawyer, Papini issued a statement to the Sacramento Bee expressing remorse.
“I am deeply ashamed of myself for my behavior and deeply regret the pain I have caused my family, my friends, all the good people who have suffered unnecessarily for my story and those who have worked so hard to try to help me.” Papini said in his statement. “I will work the rest of my life to repair what I did.”
Papini was 34 when she disappeared from Mountain Gate on November 2, 2016. Authorities mobilized searches for her in Shasta County and California, as well as in other states.
On Nov. 24, on the morning of Thanksgiving, Papini reappeared along a rural road in Yolo County near Woodland, bruised and restrained by restrictions, according to the county sheriff’s office. Papini had several body wounds and wounds, including a scar on his right shoulder, according to authorities.
At the time, Papini told law enforcement and others that she had been abducted and held at gunpoint by two Hispanic women. He also provided a description of the alleged kidnappers to an FBI cartoonist. According to her account, law enforcement was looking for women who matched Papini’s description.
“For several months, and even years, Redding and the surrounding community have been searching for two Hispanic women,” prosecutors said in the complaint. “The community has given several tips to law enforcement on suspicious-looking Hispanic women.”
Damon Arthur is Record Searchlight’s resource and environment reporter. He is part of a team of journalists investigating the irregularities and finding unheard-of voices to tell the stories of the Northern State. You will receive tips on stories at 530-338-8834 by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter at @damonarthur_RS. It helps local journalism thrive subscribing today!
Sherri Papini to plead guilty about kidnapping hoax Source link Sherri Papini to plead guilty about kidnapping hoax