New York AG references 'Seinfeld' in accusing man of posing as architect

Jason Alexander, Michael Richards, Jerry Seinfeld in "The Frogger" episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC) 1990-1998. Airdate: April 23, 1998. (

"Operation Vandelay Industries" has yielded indictments against a man accused of posing as an architect and defrauding several companies and municipalities, according to the New York attorney general.

The office of Eric T. Schneiderman dropped the "Seinfeld" reference in a press release on Thursday, announcing that Paul J. Newman was charged with falsely certifying documents while advertising himself as an architect.

“As we allege, for over seven years the defendant has pretended to be a Registered Architect, deceiving hundreds of New Yorkers – including families and senior citizens — with the sole goal of enriching himself,” Schneiderman said in the statement.

Television fans will recognize the name of the operation as a reference to the long-running sitcom, in which the character George Costanza frequently lies about being an architect when meeting strangers.

George also fabricates a fictitious import-export business operated by a man named Art Vandelay, the source of the name of Schneiderman's investigation.

To complete the reference trifecta, Newman shares the same name as Jerry Seinfeld's on-screen nemesis.

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