3-year sentence for faking her kidnapping to get $4,500

Published 3:57 pm Thursday, April 18, 2019

(AP) — A Louisiana woman was sentenced Thursday to three years and five months in prison for faking her own kidnapping and sending her ex-boss texts demanding $4,500 in ransom — a plot foiled by FBI agents who found her in Jackson, Mississippi, along with the phone she used to threaten her own life.

Sharday Monique Thomas, 32, of Hammond, Louisiana, was sentenced in Jackson by U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan III. She had pleaded guilty to wire fraud in January, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Thomas’ former employer in Monroe, Louisiana, received text messages in November from a person claiming to have kidnapped Thomas. The texts threatened Thomas’ life and demanded that $4,500 be delivered to a Jackson location to save her.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I’m tired of waiting my trigger finger is itching,” is what one of the texts said, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Michael Hurst. Another said, “Now or I’ll blow her head off.”

Hurst’s release said the former employer, assisted by Louisiana State Police, talked to Thomas twice after requesting proof that she was alive.

“Thomas told him that she would be killed if the ransom money was not delivered as instructed,” the release said.

But FBI agents working in New Orleans and Jackson used GPS technology to locate the cellphone used to send the messages. It was traced to a Jackson address near the planned ransom drop point, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. They found Thomas at that address. She confessed to the phony abduction and consented to a search of her phone, which contained the incriminating chain of text messages.