Papini’s alleged fraudulent disappearance was not without consequences to others: It cost upward of $230,000 and “countless hours” of manpower, according to officials.
CNN has reached out multiples times to Michael Borges, an attorney for Papini, for comment.
Borges’ client is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a a detention hearing to determine her custody status. Papini remained in custody Monday.
Sheriff: Investigation took resources from real cases
But last week, the Justice Department said Papini was actually with an ex-boyfriend in Southern California and that she caused her own injuries in support of her abduction claim.
But the cost isn’t only measured in dollars, Johnson said. Papini’s case and her story diverted resources from real cases with real victims.
“Not only did this charade take valuable resources away from real criminal investigative matters,” the sheriff said, “but in a time where there is serious human trafficking cases with legitimate victims Sherri Papini used this tragic societal phenomenon to gain notoriety and financial gain.”
“Finally,” he added, “all of law enforcement in Shasta (County) was put on a national stage and subjected to scrutiny and criticism for the handling (of) this case.”
Papini’s case cost the public in other ways, too.
In Papini’s case, the affidavit says, $1,000 was used so Papini could buy blinds for her home and nearly $2,000 were paid to the ambulance provider who transported Papini after she was found. The rest of the money were payments for Papini’s therapy and treatment for anxiety and post-traumatic stress stemming from her supposed kidnapping.
Then, there was the GoFundMe campaign that allegedly netted just over $49,000.
Per the affidavit, donors were told the funds would be used to “find and bring Sherri home.” In fact, federal prosecutors say, more than $30,000 was withdrawn by a family member from the campaign’s bank account and more than $11,000 was used to pay off the family’s personal credit cards.
The remaining amount was “spent on personal expenses,” the affidavit says.
A GoFundMe spokesperson told CNN the fundraiser has been removed from the platform and has not been actively receiving donations since 2016. “We are working with law enforcement to assist with their ongoing investigation,” the spokesperson said.
Regarding the GoFundMe campaign, family spokesman Chris Thomas referred questions to Borges, the attorney for Papini.
Last week, Thomas criticized Papini’s arrest, which the spokesperson said happened in front of her children.
“If requested, Sherri would have fully complied and come to the police station,” he said, “as she has done multiple times before, where this could have been handled in a more appropriate way.”
Papini and her husband “cooperated” with law enforcement, Thomas said, adding, “We are confused by several aspects of the charges and hope to get clarification in the coming days.”