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A California A man who supported his wife for six years after she claimed she was kidnapped has filed for divorce after it was revealed the kidnapping was part of an elaborate prank.
Shasta County Superior Court online records show Keith Papini filed for ‘dissolution with minor children’ from his wife Sherri Papini who recently admitted in a plea deal that she faked being kidnapped for three weeks in 2016, according to the Sacramento Bee.
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“Now that I have learned the truth as evidenced by the plea deal she reached with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, I must act decisively to protect my children from the trauma caused by their mother and bring stability. and calm to their lives,” Keith Papini wrote in a court-filed affidavit. “I and especially our children were traumatized by her disappearance, and I spent a lot of time and money trying to find my wife.
Sherri Papini, 39, of Redding, was found on Thanksgiving Day in 2016 after weeks of searching in California and several neighboring states, with ties to her body and injuries including a swollen nose and a ‘mark’ on his right shoulder.
She had been reported missing on November 2. She told authorities at the time that she was kidnapped at gunpoint by two Hispanic women, even providing descriptions to an FBI cartoonist as well as extensive details of her alleged abduction.
In fact, authorities say she was living with a former boyfriend nearly 600 miles from her home in Orange County, Southern California, and injured herself to back up her false claims.
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Sherri Papini recently pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud and lying to a federal officer, days after accepting a deal from prosecutors regarding the fake kidnapping. The story made headlines across the country and cost law enforcement and the government thousands of dollars.
She apologized to Shubb and added, “I’m sad. I feel very sad, your honor. I feel very sad,” according to the report.
Shubb then asked Papini if she had been kidnapped, to which she reportedly replied, “No, your honor.”
Prior to the plea deal, Papini was facing 34 counts of mail fraud and one count of misrepresentation, according to reports. Instead, she pleaded guilty to one count each and to restitution of up to $300,000. Specifically, she must pay nearly $149,000 to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office; at least $127,568 to the Social Security Administration; $30,694 to the California Victims Compensation Board and more than $2,500 to the FBI, according to the Associated Press.
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She would face up to 20 years in prison for mail fraud and up to five years for lying to a federal agent.
“I am deeply ashamed of myself for my behavior and I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused my family, my friends, all the good people who have suffered unnecessarily because of my story and those who have worked so trying to help me,” Papini said in a statement through his attorney, William Portanova. “I will work the rest of my life to fix what I have done.”
Papini’s sentencing is scheduled for July 11, 2022.
The Associated Press and Fox News’ Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.