Lauren Hernández

San Francisco Chronicle

Sherri Papini, 39, of Redding, was arrested on suspicion of constructing false statements to a federal legislation enforcement officer and interesting in mail fraud in connection to receiving roughly 35 funds from the California Sufferer’s Compensation Board, in accordance with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Workplace, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace, Japanese District of California in Sacramento.

The married mom of two was really staying together with her former boyfriend within the Southern California metropolis of Costa Mesa throughout her practically month-long disappearance, officers mentioned.


Papini was reported lacking on Nov. 2, 2016, when she didn’t choose up her younger kids from a day care supplier that afternoon. Her husband reported her lacking, prompting an intensive seek for the mom close to the couple’s house in Redding and throughout the state. Regulation enforcement acquired tips on potential sightings of the lady from individuals throughout the globe, authorities mentioned on the time.

She reappeared on Thanksgiving morning 2016, and claimed she escaped from her captors. The suspects, she mentioned on the time, had chained her, brutally beat her and branded on her proper shoulder throughout captivity earlier than throwing her out of a transferring sports activities utility automobile that morning close to Woodland in Yolo County — 146 miles south of the place she was final seen.

But it surely was a complete fabrication, authorities mentioned on Thursday. She brought about her personal accidents “to help her false statements,” authorities mentioned. She even supplied descriptions of her alleged assailants to an FBI sketch artist, who produced sketches of the nonexistent girls with their faces partially coated with handkerchiefs.

“In the end, the investigation revealed that there was no kidnapping and that point and sources that would have been used to analyze precise crime, shield the group, and supply sources to victims have been wasted based mostly on the defendant’s conduct,” mentioned U.S. Lawyer Phillip Talbert in a press release.

Papini faces a most statutory penalty of 20 years in jail and a high-quality as much as $250,000 if she is convicted of mail fraud. She additionally faces a most statutory penalty of 5 years in jail and a high-quality as much as $250,000 if she is convicted of constructing false statements to a federal legislation enforcement officer.

Papini has not but secured an legal professional, as she was arrested on Thursday, in accordance with Related Press stories.

Papini’s arrest comes after a years-long investigation into her pretend kidnapping.

Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson mentioned detectives, FBI brokers, Division of Justice criminalists, forensic analysts and crime scene investigators all shared a standard aim when investigating the alleged kidnapping: “to search out the reality about what occurred… and who was accountable.”

“The 22-day seek for Sherri Papini and subsequent five-year search into who reportedly kidnapped her was not solely taxing on public sources however brought about most people to be afraid of their very own security, a worry that they need to not have needed to endure,” Johnson mentioned in a press release.

Inside days of reappearance, media stories on the time mentioned Papini was unable to recollect any particulars about her alleged abduction. In the meantime, legislation enforcement officers have been looking for the 2 “Spanish-speaking girls” who allegedly kidnapped Papini. A $10,000 reward was supplied to anybody having data resulting in their arrest, media stories mentioned on the time.

Papini had acquired tens of 1000’s of {dollars} in help from the California Sufferer’s Compensation Board from 2017 till as not too long ago as 2021, authorities mentioned, together with for remedy periods and for the price of an ambulance journey to the hospital after she reappeared in Yolo County.

The investigation involving a number of businesses continued for years, and in August 2020, authorities mentioned Papini was “warned that it was against the law to deceive federal brokers” throughout an interview with a federal agent and a Shasta County Sheriff’s detective. Throughout that interview, authorities mentioned officers confirmed Papini proof disproving that she was kidnapped, however authorities mentioned she continued to “make false statements about her purported abductors.”

Sean Ragan, the Particular Agent in Cost of the FBI Sacramento Discipline Workplace mentioned in a press release that authorities are “relieved that the group just isn’t endangered by unknown, violent kidnappers.”

“This case exemplifies the FBI’s dedication to working tirelessly with legislation enforcement companions and prosecutors to look at all info and search the reality, irrespective of how lengthy that course of takes or how advanced the evaluation could also be,” Ragan mentioned.

Lauren Hernández (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle employees author. E mail: lauren.hernandez@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ByLHernandez

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