ALBANY, N.Y. — A New York man is going to prison for masquerading as a licensed architect.
Paul J. Newman pleaded guilty in June to a total of six felonies, including grand larceny, forgery, and unauthorized practice of a profession. Newman is going to prison for two-and-a-third to seven years. He must also return $115,000 to former clients.
"Deceptively posing as a licensed and registered architect has real consequences — including prison time," said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The charges were announced back in April - almost a year after the matter was dubbed "Operation Vandelay Industries," a reference to the sitcom "Seinfeld," in which the down-on-his-luck character George Costanza invented the fake company to bolster his meager resume. (Costanza would often feign being an architect.)
George (right) often posed as an architect on Seinfeld.
Investigators found that Newman posed as a licensed architect for almost a decade, working for construction companies, business owners, and municipalities throughout New York. He drafted renderings for more than 100 properties - even submitting foundation inspections, field reports, energy compliance certificates and engineer letters to various towns and cities falsely certifying he was a properly licensed architect.
"Those who wish to game the system and take advantage of New Yorkers should take note: no license, no work for you,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue to uphold this standard."
Other nearby counties have yet to sentence Newman, and he could face up to 15 years.