Nothing is going to be fake about this harrowing imprisonment.
California mom Sherri Papini shocked the world when the viral story of her 2016 kidnapping got turned on its head — as the FBI finally determined four years later that the whole thing was B.S. She made it look like she had been abducted (and even blamed Latina women for it) while jogging but really she and an ex-boyfriend had conspired to fake her disappearance as she stayed with him for a few weeks. An IRL Gone Girl. Unbelievable. Even her husband was apparently fooled by the hoax; he quickly filed for divorce, stating he was “traumatized” by the ordeal.
Papini pleaded guilty this April to charges of mail fraud and making false statements to a law enforcement officer — just two of the 35 counts she was originally charged with. Quite a deal. But authorities do NOT like being lied to and having their time wasted — as we saw with the Jussie Smollett sentencing earlier this year. This was even more serious an offense — and as such the book she got thrown at her by the judge was weightier as well. Her sentence?
18 months in prison!
Wow! The number may not seem like much, but it’s actually rather surprising. Papini, now 40 years old, asked for a much lesser sentence last week — just one month in prison and “seven months of home detention.” Her legal team argued rather unsuccessfully that the public shame of her viral hoax already “feels like a life sentence” for her.
But the more shocking aspect of the sentence is that it’s over TWICE what even prosecutors were asking for! They only requested eight months. In a sentencing memorandum last week they wrote that only a month plus house arrest was “not sufficient to achieve the purposes of sentencing.”
US District Judge William Shubb clearly agreed with that sentiment — and then some. On Monday he not only gave her a year and a half behind bars, he also gave her a further 36 months of supervised release and orderer her to pay $309,902 in restitution for losses incurred by the various government agencies who spend time and resources trying to find her.
Surprisingly, Papini’s attorney William Portanova reacted by calling the prison sentence “fair.” Do YOU agree??
Sherri herself had no comment for reporters as she left the courthouse. She has to surrender herself to the prison by November 8.
[Image via MEGA/WENN.]