‘Seinfeld’-inspired ‘Operation Vandelay Industries’ leads to arrest of Paul J. Newman, AG says

A man posing as an architect was busted in a
A man posing as an architect was busted in a “Seinfeld”-inspired operation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Above, Schneiderman makes an announcement in upper Manhattan, on April 12, 2017. Photo Credit: Steven Sunshine


A New York man, Paul J. Newman, was indicted Thursday on charges that he defrauded construction companies, business owners, and municipalities in several upstate counties by pretending to be a licensed architect.

In a bust that might have come straight from the mind of Jerry Seinfeld — and appropriately dubbed “Operation Vandelay Industries” — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Newman had illegally drafted architectural renderings for more than 100 properties in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga counties since at least 2010.

He allegedly submitted several fake documents, including foundation inspections, field reports and engineer letters, according to Schneiderman’s office.

Newman, 49, of Troy, New York, is facing a 58-count indictment, including charges of third-degree grand larceny, second-degree forgery and scheme to defraud.

If convicted of the top charge, he could be sentenced to as many as 5 to 15 years in prison.