A California woman is facing charges that she manufactured an intricate cover story involving her own supposed kidnapping in an effort to distract from the fact that she could not afford to pay her employees.
According to Fox News, 33-year-old Maria Gonzalez told Fresno police that she had been kidnapped on Saturday at an intersection in the city.
A subsequent investigation found evidence that the entire report was an elaborate ruse and prosecutors were in the process of preparing charges against her as of the latest reports available.
Gonzalez initially claimed that her captors forced her to drive, adding that she blacked out a short time later and regained consciousness at a residence out of town. She told authorities that she was bound and gagged and discovered $9,000 in business payroll funds had been taken.
The money was reportedly needed to compensate workers for a trucking company her family owns.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told a different version of events in a statement to reporters at the Fresno Bee.
“The truth is Maria Gonzalez made up this entire story for the purpose of letting someone know that $9,000 had been stolen from her — $9,000 she was supposed to pay to subcontractors.”
Though prosecutors had not confirmed charges as of this writing, a warrant is expected to include suspicion of filing a false police report.
[Featured image: Maria Gonzalez, Fresno Police Department]