Sherri Papini Admits to Faking 2016 Kidnapping, US Attorney’s Office Says


Sherri Papini is a Northern California woman who “returned” home on Thanksgiving claiming she had been kidnapped, which triggered a nationwide manhunt for her alleged abductors, has admitted to making the whole story up and staging the incident, CBS News reported.

Papini, now 39 years old, was arrested last month for faking her own kidnapping in 2016. She has since admitted to the charges, and will plead guilty, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in a Tuesday statement.

Phillip A. Talbert, U.S. Attorney, says that Papini will plead guilty “making materially false statements to FBI agents about the circumstances of her disappearance and committing mail fraud based on her being a kidnapping victim.”

Her attorney William Portanova confirmed to ABC 7 that his client will plead guilty to charges of lying to a federal officer and mail fraud.

She signed her agreement Tuesday, New York Post reported.

Through her attorney, she released a statement, obtained by CBS News.

“I am deeply ashamed of my actions and I am so sorry for the pain that I have caused my family and friends.” Papini said in a statement released by her attorney. “I will make amends for the things I did.”

Papini disappeared in November 2016. The start of a three week search was launched for her. She returned home in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning with bruises, triggering a manhunt for her alleged kidnappers.

Authorities say that she was in fact staying with an ex boyfriend who has not been charged and is located 600 miles from her Orange County, California home.

Authorities believe that Papini herself inflicted these injuries.

The New York Post reported that Papini could be sentenced to up to 25-years imprisonment if convicted of mail fraud and false statements to federal law enforcement officers.

Post reported that Papini has not yet been scheduled by the court to enter her guilty plea. She has been released on $120,000 bail.