Kidnapping Hoax Mom Sherri Papini Still Owes More than $300,000 in Restitution

Sherri Papini was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison in September 2022 for lying about being the victim of a violent abduction in November 2016

<p>AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli</p> Sherri Papini

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Sherri Papini

Sherri Papini, the California mom who claimed to have been abducted at gunpoint but later admitted it was a hoax, still owes more than $300,000 in restitution.

On March 24, the United States Attorney’s Office filed an application for a writ of garnishment in federal court against Papini, stating that "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.”

According to the federal filing, prosecutors are seeking to recover $309,292.23 plus a 10 percent litigation surcharge of $30, 929, which amounts to a total of $340, 221.23.

"Sherri Papini appreciates the significance of her financial obligations to the Court and to the Government and will continue to meet said obligations as she has promised,” her criminal attorney William Portanova tells PEOPLE in an email. “Nothing has changed."

The writ of garnishment was also filed against the law firm that is representing Papini in her divorce from her husband Keith Papini.

“Upon information and belief, Debtor [Papini] has a substantial nonexempt interest in property, that is in the possession, custody, or control of Garnishee [law firm],” states the filing.

Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani says he’s not surprised that prosecutors are aggressively seeking compensation.

“There was a significant waste of government resources as a result, and she got money from the California State Victims' Compensation Fund,” he tells PEOPLE. “It's pretty egregious behavior. And I'm not surprised the U.S. Attorney's Office is aggressively going after her to make sure that this restitution order is paid.”

Courtesy Keith Papini Sherri and Keith Papini
Courtesy Keith Papini Sherri and Keith Papini

Related: What's Next for Sherri Papini?

Papini’s case made headlines in 2016 when she claimed to have been the victim of an abduction while she was out on a morning jog from her Redding, Calif., home on Nov. 2. Authorities and family looked for her for weeks before she was spotted by a passing motorist in northern Yolo County, about 150 miles south of Redding.

Papini told authorities she was abducted at gunpoint by two Hispanic women whom she alleged had tortured her, branded her and kept her chained in a bedroom for more than three weeks.

Related: Sherri Papini Leaves Halfway House, Finishes Incarceration 8 Months Early After Faking Kidnapping

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But after investigating her alleged kidnapping, detectives discovered that Papini made up the incident and had been hiding out with an ex-boyfriend in Southern California.

In 2022, she pleaded guilty to mail fraud and making false statements and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by 36 months of supervised release, on Sept. 19, 2022. She was also ordered to pay $309,902 in restitution to the California Victim Compensation Board, the Social Security Administration, the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for losses incurred because of her lies.

During her sentencing, Papini said she was "deeply ashamed" of her behavior and "sorry for the pain I've caused my family, my friends, all the good people who needlessly suffered… I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I have done."

She was released last October — eight months early in her 18-month prison sentence.

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