As they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Now, tack on this corollary: If you're a deadbeat parent who has skipped out on your child support payments and a random call suggests you're in line for a role in the next Jennifer Aniston movie -- well, you might want to think twice about flying home for your close-up.
That's what Joshua Garlathy discovered when he flew in May from Hawaii to Pennsylvania, where he owed over $43,000 in child support payments, according to Pennsylvania paper The Morning Call.
The 40-year-old had been absent from his child's life for 19 years, and as his support payment debt grew, he ultimately decided to live in Hawaii, where extradition was apparently too expensive for local law enforcement. That meant his ex-girlfriend Beth Ann Holderman and bounty hunter Scott Bernstein had to come up with a ruse to get him to return.
Bernstein contacted Garlathy on Facebook, pretending to be a movie producer, according to The Daily Mail. Bernstein lied that one of his "talent scouts" discovered Garlathy playing guitar in a cafe where he worked, and wanted him to appear in a new rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston called "Banished from Brooklyn."
The whole thing was a story Bernstein invented. But Garlathy bought it, and was handcuffed when his plane landed. He was in fact greeted by cameras at the airport, but they were for a reality show making a series on deadbeat parents.
Last Tuesday, after spending 42 days in jail, Garlathy pleaded guilty for willful failure to pay child support, The Morning Call reports. He previously paid $10,000 toward what he owed, and Judge James T. Anthony put him on 90 days probation and dunned him for the $2,912 plane ticket Holderman had ponied up for the Hawaii-Pennsylvania jaunt.
"This guy thought he was going to be a star of motion picture(s) and change his life and the reverse happened," Bernstein told the Mail. "He was arrested on the plane in front of 250 people."
The Morning Call says Garlathy is the first man charged in Pennsylvania under a new law that allows the state to charge individuals criminally for failing to pay child support.
"He always wanted to be famous," said Holderman. "Now, he's famous."