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News

Westside Woman Who Fabricated Her Own Kidnapping Could Face 5 Years in Prison

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Sylvia Mardini
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Last summer when 24-year-old Sylvia Mardini made headlines, all we knew was that went off to do some errands and didn't return home. The next day her family received text messages indicating that she was being kidnapped at gunpoint and was in Utah, prompting the LAPD and FBI's involvement in the case. Many news outlets, including LAist, reported on the story.It wasn't long before she was found, alone, at a gas station in Colorado by state patrol officers. Once back in Los Angeles, she told FBI agents that she was held against her will and forced to drive from California to Colorado. But in her plea agreement, she admitted the she was never kidnapped and the entire incident was made up, the United States Attorney’s Office announced this week. It was not said why she made up the kidnapping.

As part of that agreement, she is paying at least $20,000 in restitution to state and local law enforcement in California and Colorado for their efforts in rescuing her from a nonexistent kidnapper. She is scheduled to be sentenced by a judge on May 10th and faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in federal prison.