Sherri Papini sentenced to 18 months in prison in hoax kidnapping case

She claimed she was abducted and tortured for 22 days.

More than five years after she said she was kidnapped and tortured, Sherri Papini pleaded guilty to two of the 35 felony counts, including lying to federal agents and mail fraud.
A Northern California woman who pleaded guilty to orchestrating an elaborate hoax about being kidnapped and even seared with a branding iron by her abductors was ordered to serve 18 months in prison Monday, more than double the amount of time federal prosecutors recommended.

Sherri Papini, 40, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. After learning her fate, Papini emerged from the courtroom in tears and was embraced by friends, family and her mother, who was also crying.

U.S. District Court Judge William Shubb ordered Papini to turn herself in to begin her prison sentence by 2 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Federal prosecutors had requested Shubb to order Papini, a mother of two, to serve her sentence in prison but asked for only eight months.

Prosecutors noted in court documents that Papini continued her fake abduction scheme long after she resurfaced in her hometown of Redding, California, in 2016 and fraudulently amassed more than $300,000 in Social Security disability income, assistance from the California Victim Compensation Board and through a GoFundMe campaign created on her behalf.

Clifford Oto/The Stockton Record via USA Today Network
Defense attorneys had asked Shubb for mercy, requesting she be allowed to do most of her time under house arrest.