Woman Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison After Kidnapping Hoax

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The California woman who faked her own kidnapping was sentenced to 18 months in prison after she confessed to the crime and pled guilty to the charges.

40-year-old Sherri Papini was reported missing in November 2016 by her husband. She was found three weeks later on the side of a highway, 140 miles away.

When Papini reappeared, she made up a story about two women who chained her up and kept her in a closet at gunpoint. In actuality, the mother of two was with an ex-boyfriend the entire time.




For 22 days, multiple agencies across three states searched for the fake-missing woman before she resurfaced. Another 5 years were spent searching for the non-existent kidnappers.

The entire scheme cost government agencies over $300,000 in damages. Papini also collected nearly $130,000 in disability payments after the kidnapping hoax.

As a part of her plea deal taken earlier this year, the maximum sentencing would be lowered from 25 years. Despite her defense attorneys’ and probation officer’s request for a 1-month sentence, the judge’s final ruling on Monday was 18 months.



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