In a case saturated in pop culture references, a fake architect named Paul J. Newman has been sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison after he was caught in a New York state fraud investigation dubbed “Operation Vandelay Industries,” a reference to the 90’s sitcom Seinfeld.
Newman was sentenced on Sept. 5 after pleading guilty to six felonies that included grand larceny and fraud, the Associated Press reports. As part of his sentence, Newman must pay a $115,000 restitution.
According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, Newman rendered fraudulent architectural services in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties dating back to 2010. His victims include municipalities and businesses.
For those not well versed in the show about nothing’s running gags, Art Vandelay, a phony architect, was the alias of George Costanza. Vandelay Industries later became a fictional company on the show. Seinfeld’s Newman, meanwhile, was Jerry Seinfeld’s arch nemesis.