The 6 Most Impressive Cases of Identity Theft Ever Pulled Off

#3. Like Gary Oldman, But Less So

On the one hand, who hasn't watched Gary Oldman awesome it up on the big screen and wished he (or she) could be Gary Oldman? On the other hand, it's Gary Freaking Oldman, who we're pretty sure could twist your clavicle into a 'G' for Gary with a twitch of his eyebrow.

That sound you just heard was the simultaneous destruction of thousands of collarbones.

So when Mark Tufano got it in his ballsy brain that he was going to impersonate one of the world's baddassest actors, you've got to you admit that made him pretty hardcore.

It started in 1998, when Tufano found out that a big Hollywood type was casting the role of Andy Kaufman for The Man in the Moon. Several leading men were going for the part, and to audition they had to send in videotapes of them impersonating Mr. Kaufman himself. Here's where things got tricky.

Tufano began making calls, posing as Oldman, even though Oldman himself had turned down the part weeks before. So naturally the director was confused. Especially when he got the video of Mark Tufano, pretending to be Gary Oldman, pretending to be Andy Kaufman. Even more especially when Oldman read that he was a leading candidate for the role that he previously turned down. So the real Oldman got on the phone to clear up the mess.

"Got on the phone" is Oldman-code for "threatened with a handgun."

And How Did That Work Out For Him?

Everyone sort of took the whole thing as a prank, which was totally appropriate considering an Andy Kaufman project was involved. Oldman himself wasn't so amused, though. In fact, he was annoyed enough to call Tufano directly, when the following conversation apparently took place:

Gary Goddamn Oldman: Mark? Mark? It's Gary.

Mark Tufano: What do you want?

Gary Goddamn Oldman: You've been me, haven't you? You can't be me. You can't be me.

No, Tufano. You can't be Gary Oldman. Ultimately Tufano claimed that Oldman told him he was a good actor, and let him go on his merry way. Either that or he murdered Gary Oldman and took his place. But that's just impossible. Right?


#2. Arnaud du Tilh - Le Imposteur

So you're a peasant in France in the 1500s. It goes without saying that life stinks. You'll do anything to get ahead. Even if that means, say, impersonating royalty, or pretending to be from a foreign land, or, best of all, impersonating another lowly peasant. It started when a guy named Martin Guerre went off to fight some wars and just stayed gone.

Three years later, a stranger showed up in town, claiming to be Guerre.

A rare photo of the Martin Guerre impersonator.

And apparently he looked enough like him and knew enough about his past that everyone went along with his story, including--wait for it--the original Martin's wife, who this medieval Don Draper was quick to knock up.

"Trust me. I'm Martin. Have a cocktail."

And then things really got weird. Real Martin's uncle eventually concluded this new, virile Martin was a fraud, especially when a passing soldier commented that he knew the real Martin, and that the real Martin looked a little different. Specifically, he had one fewer leg, having lost his in the war.

Pictured: A minor detail

So the imposter is accused of fraud in a highly dramatic trial, and Fake Martin loses. He is sentenced to death.

But OH SNAP... Fake Martin then appealed to higher authorities, and had his accusers arrested on perjury. And his new judges were going for his version of the story, too, when in a twist the writers of Scooby-Doo would envy, the REAL Marty actually showed up in the middle of the trial.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for that meddling, peg-legged, peasant.

Wooden leg and all. Fake Martin's multi-year, multi-babymaking jig was up.

And How Did That Work Out For Him?

Spoiler Alert!

In execution, obviously. It was the Middle Ages. You couldn't go around getting women pregnant in another man's name and expect to live to tell the tale. It wasn't until after his official conviction that Fake Martin confessed, apologized and revealed how he almost got away with the whole thing. Two strangers had once confused him for the real Guerre and filled him in on all the details he needed to get his start.

As for the real Martin Guerre, he had just been chilling at a monastery after his time in the army. And the fact he and his wooden leg showed up just as the trial of his wife and uncle was under way was just a coincidence. An awesome coincidence.

#1. Barry Bremen Must Get Really Bored Sometimes

Barry Bremen was a man with a dream, and that dream was to crash as many sporting events as humanly possible, by any means whatsoever. He snuck onto the field of the 1979 MLB All-Star Game dressed as a Yankee. Also in 1979, he showed up in a Kansas City Kings uniform to the NBA All-Star Game, actually got onto the floor, and pulled it off again in 1981. He showed up in a limo to the 1982 Super Bowl as the San Diego Chicken and almost managed to get into the game. He played nine holes at the U.S. Open, he's pretended to be a referee, he even managed to impersonate a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, before getting hog-tied, handcuffed and booted off the field.

From 1979 to 1986 Bremen had himself a ball planning and executing elaborate impersonations, often with the help and support of his wife, just for the fun of it.

And How Did That Work Out For Him?

Not too shabby, all things considered. The Dallas Cowboys fined him $5,000 for his cheerleader shenanigans, but it appears his stunts got him many times that amount in publicity. He was featured in People Magazine and got to chat it up with Johnny Carson at a time when people actually cared about that sort of thing. And since those few minutes of fame and attention were all he was really wanted in the first place, we'd say Barry Bremen is a raging success of a man.

A raging success, indeed.

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