The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought 58 counts of larceny against an allegedly fake architect with the last name Newman in a sting named "Operation Vandelay Industries."
Get it? If none of this is ringing any bells, perhaps a certain bass line might help.
Paul J. Newman is accused of collecting almost $200,000 for "rendering fraudulent architecture and design services since 2010." The coincidence of Newman's name and his alleged fake business scam apparently put the attorney general's office in the mind of Seinfeld, in which the character George Costanza makes up a job at a nonexistent company called "Vandelay Industries."
The charges, at least, are made in all seriousness. "By allegedly falsifying building plans, code compliance inspections, and field reports, the defendant jeopardized the safety of those who resided in and frequented the buildings he was contracted to work on. Deceptive actions like these erode public trust — and my office will not tolerate them," Schneiderman said in a statement.