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Crime News Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies and More Lies

California Woman Sherri Papini "Failed" to Pay Restitution in Kidnapping Hoax

Sherri Papini's attorney, William Portanova, stated to Oxygen.com that his client "is well aware of her financial obligations."

By Jax Miller

Federal authorities would like to see Sherri Papini’s wages garnished, claiming the mother convicted of faking her own kidnapping still owes more than a quarter of a million dollars in restitution, according to court documents reviewed by Oxygen.com.

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On Friday, March 22, 2024, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert submitted an application for a writ of garnishment to the Eastern District of California, seeking to collect $340,221.23 of various debts. The request, citing the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act of 1990 (F.D.C.P.A.), aims to force the feds to hold the interest-free debt against Papini’s property.

“Despite the United States’ demand for payment, made more than 30 days before the date of this Application, Debtor has failed to satisfy the debt,” the motion stated.

Papini’s Sacramento-based attorney, William J. Portanova, emailed Oxygen.com on behalf of his client.

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“Sherri Papini is well aware of her financial obligations to the Court and has been open with the Court and Government as to her financial condition,” Portanova stated. “The restitution payments will continue as always, just as she promised the Court.”

A breakdown of the total debt included a judgment amount of $309,902.22 for restitution after Papini pleaded guilty in April 2022 to one count of mail fraud and one count of making false statements to authorities for staging her own 2016 kidnapping — a story that garnered widespread media attention and was the basis for the Oxygen special, Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies, and More Lies.

In addition to the bulk amount, courts ordered Papini to pay a $200 statutory assessment fee, which was factored into the total. With the fee, federal attorneys “seek to recover the statutorily authorized ten percent litigation surcharge of the unpaid Judgement Amount,” according to court records.

A police handout of Sherri Papini

Where is Sherri Papini now?

Talbert provided Papini’s social security number and address to further the garnishment process, should one be ordered. It remains unclear whether Papini is employed, but she reportedly lives in Shingletown, California, about 170 miles north of Sacramento in Shasta County and less than 30 miles from Redding, from where Papini falsely reported being kidnapped on November 2, 2016.

That day, Papini — a then-34-year-old married mother of two — disappeared while jogging near her Redding home. Large-scale searches ensued until, 22 days later (on Thanksgiving Day), Papini was found 150 miles from where she disappeared on the side of a Yolo County road.

Papini was covered in bruises and wrapped in a chain, claiming her captors — two unidentified Hispanic women — had freed her from her restraints. She also bore a brand burned into her shoulder.

However, due to inconsistencies in her story, authorities were skeptical of Papini’s claims, and D.N.A. later pointed to Papini’s ex-boyfriend, James Reyes. The ex admitted to letting Papini stay at his Costa Mesa home during the time of the searches, and Papini eventually confessed to making the whole thing up.

The injuries, she admitted, were self-inflicted.

RELATED: After Sherri Papini Admitted To Her Kidnapping Hoax, What Happened To Her Husband?

Sherri Papini's Sentence

Sherri Papini featured in Sherri Papini: Lies Lies More Lies

Prior to Papini’s March 3, 2022, arrest, feds stated Papini faked having post-traumatic stress in order to falsely accrue monies from multiple agencies. She reportedly collected over $30,000 from the California Victims Compensation Board and spent money meant for mental health treatment for unrelated items, including $1,000 for window blinds, according to The Sacramento Bee. She also obtained nearly $50,000 through a fraudulent GoFundMe campaign.

In September 2022, Papini was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison plus 36 months of supervised release. Papini told the court she was “deeply ashamed” of her actions when entering her guilty plea.

At the time of sentencing, Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb acknowledged Papini wouldn’t be capable of paying her debts “unless she wins the lottery.”

“As she stands here today, she’s broke,” said the judge.

Papini was released from prison less than a year after sentencing.

Learn more about the story in the original true crime special, Sherri Papini: Lies, Lies, and More Lies, available to watch now on Oxygen and stream on Peacock.