Sherri Papini Admits to Faking 2016 Kidnapping, US Attorney’s Office Says
She will formally plead guilty at a later date in court.
Sherri Papini, the 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, was charged last month with faking her own 2016 kidnapping, has admitted to the charges and will plead guilty, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement Tuesday.
U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert says Papini will plead guilty to "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 myself for my behavior and so very sorry for the pain I've caused my family, my friends, all the good people who needlessly suffered because of my story and those who worked so hard to try to help me," Papini said in a statement released by her attorney. "I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I have done."
Papini disappeared in early November 2016, sparking a three-week search for her. She returned home in the early hours of Thanksgiving morning with bruises, triggering a manhunt for her alleged kidnappers.
However, authorities say she had actually been staying with a former boyfriend, who has not been charged, some 600 miles away from her home in Orange County, California.
Authorities allege that Papini inflicted the injuries on herself.
Papini faces up to 25 years if convicted of the charges of making false statements to a federal law enforcement officer and mail fraud, the New York Post reported.
The court has yet to schedule a date when Papini will formally enter her guilty plea and she has been out on $120,000 bond, Post reported.
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