February 28th, 2021


Bright Ideas | Life Imitates TV

News of the Weird

By News of the Weird

Published Dec. 19, 2017

Bright Ideas  |  Life Imitates TV

An unnamed man in Plymouth, Minnesota, went to extraordinary lengths and wasted two days of police investigators' time just to get a few days away from his wife, police Sgt. Keith Bird said. The woman reported her 34-year-old husband missing on Aug. 28 and showed police a text from him saying he had been kidnapped. The kidnapper demanded a paltry $140 for his return, and the wife agreed, but the kidnapper said she could wait for the husband to receive his paycheck. Eventually police caught up with the husband, who insisted he had indeed been kidnapped but asked officers to stop investigating. "He's fine," said Sgt. Bird. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 9/2/2017]

Paul J. Newman of Rensselaer, New York, was sentenced on Sept. 6 to 2 1/3 to seven years in prison after pretending to be a licensed and registered architect, after an investigation the New York attorney general's office dubbed "Operation Vandelay Industries" in a nod to "Seinfeld." Newman's charges included larceny, forgery, fraud and unlicensed practice of architecture. He will also have to pay more than $115,000 in restitution to his victims. [Albany Business Review, 9/6/2017]