Fresno Woman Lies About Being Kidnapped to Avoid Paying Workers: Police

Maria Gonzalez filed a false police report, authorities said.
Maria Gonzalez will be charged with filing a false police report, authorities said. Fresno Police Department

A terrifying tale told by a California woman about being kidnapped, bound and gagged by two men who jumped into her car turned out to be completely untrue, police said.

Maria Gonzalez, 32, made up the whole story to avoid paying $9,000 she owed to subcontractors, according to Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Gonzalez had claimed she was carrying a large amount of cash when she stopped because there were two dogs in the road. Suddenly, she said, two men wearing masks forced their way into her vehicle. One of them was armed, she said.

From the back seat, they ordered her to drive and later tied her up, stuffed a gag in her mouth and stole $9,000 from her purse, she told police, according to Dyer.

Gonzalez said she woke up in her car in a strange neighborhood, and went to a house for help, according to Dyer. A caller to 911 described her as "partially bound and gagged."

She also told investigators "she felt that she had been sexually assaulted by the suspects, as a result of having what she described as moisture in her underwear,” Dyer said.

Gonzalez cried at a hospital, where she was taken for an examination, Dyer said.

But after hours of questioning by detectives who didn't think her allegations added up, Gonzalez acknowledged she had fabricated the whole scenario because she didn't have $9,000 she owed to two truck drivers who work for her company, police said.

“The truth is Maria Gonzalez made up this entire story for the purpose of letting someone know that $9,000 had been stolen from her — $9,000 she was supposed to pay to subcontractors," Dyer told reporters. "The reality is she didn’t have the $9,000 to pay the subcontractors, and that’s why she made up the entire story."

The woman will be charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor, the chief said. 

"She at times appeared to be credible, and then at times there were certain things that were said that caused detectives to believe that perhaps she was not credible,” Dyer said. He did not elaborate.

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