The so-called California "supermom" is behind bars on suspicion of faking her own kidnapping that made global headlines over five years ago.
Sherri Papini, 39, was reported missing by her husband in November of 2016, prompting a massive national FBI search. Papini was found weeks later over 100 miles from her home north of San Francisco, with chains on her body and a brand on her shoulder. She told police officers she was held against her will by two Mexican women, but investigators now say she was staying with an ex-boyfriend and hurt herself to make her story more believable. The U.S. Department of Justice charged Papini on Thursday with making false statements to federal law enforcement officers and engaging in mail fraud, according to a press release. "Ultimately, the investigation revealed that there was no kidnapping and that time and resources that could have been used to investigate actual crime, protect the community, and provide resources to victims were wasted based on the defendant's conduct," said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
Papini received $30,000 from the California victim compensation fund. If convicted, Papini faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for making false statements to a federal officer, as well as up to 20 years and $250,000 for mail fraud.