It's natural to lie about your accomplishments a little bit. Facebook is basically just a wasteland of profiles of perfect people who don't really exist. Since we all do it, no one will blame you when the time you saw Leonardo DiCaprio on the street turns into the time he totally hit on you, or that the time you got arrested for stalking a famous blonde actor goes unmentioned on your news feed.
But then there are the George Costanzas of the world: people who are so obsessed with appearing more awesome than they are that they will let little lies turn into big lies into huge lies, allowing everyone to believe in the facade for years. So in honor of the release of Seinfeld on Hulu, we've found the most despicable liars and how they fooled the entire world into bigger ruses than Vandelay Industries.
4Marilee Jones Gave Herself Way Too Many College Degrees
It's rare that you can talk about a famous school administrator, but as dean of admissions at MIT, Marilee Jones was at least as well-known as last year's American Idol runner-up (I want to say Jenna something?). In 2007, she'd worked for the prestigious university for almost 30 years and had written a critically acclaimed book on getting into college.
She also had a whole lot of degrees that were just as meaningful as Kermit The Frog's honorary Doctorate of Amphibious Letters.
This is seriously a thing that happened.
In 1979, Jones applied for an assistant job at MIT. She was totally eligible, considering she had a perfectly respectable biology degree from the College Of Saint Rose, and the fact that the entry-level job she was applying for didn't require having any degree at all. But instead of writing down a qualification she actually had, she decided to make two others up. Suddenly, she had degrees from Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and none from Saint Rose. This is like staunchly denying you won an MTV Video Music Award but claiming to have swept the Teen Choice Awards.
Jones got the job, but she decided her two fake degrees weren't impressive enough. So at some point in the next few years the lie snowballed out of control to the point that she now had a degree from Albany Medical College, a master's from Rensselaer Polytechnic, and, finally in 2007, the former Miss Jones suddenly started going by Dr. Jones. What school supposedly gave her a doctorate? At that point it didn't even matter. She could have started calling herself the Reverend Doctor Princess Jones, Esq., and no one would have cared, apparently.
But eventually someone tipped off the school and Jones had to resign. And it suddenly made a lot more sense that she had been encouraging students to create their "own reality."
3John Spano Tried To Buy A Sports Team With No Money
There is a hierarchy of rich people. You've got your regular rich people who never have to worry about money but live relatively boring lives. Then you have your world travelers and your giant yacht owners. But when you are really, really loaded and want to impress everyone around you with how big your money penis is, you buy a professional sports team.
In 1996, John Spano decided it was time to give society a slap in the face, and he bought the New York Islanders hockey team. The problem was he had absolutely no money. We don't mean he was rich but not Mark Cuban rich; we mean he had NO MONEY.
Even really terrible teams cost at least a couple thousand.
We understand his predicament. You start dropping hints to your friends about how successful your business is, and eventually you have to prove it. Normal people might lease a sports car or hire some classy-looking ladies just to hang out around you, but Spano took it to the next level.
After trying to buy the Dallas Stars and the Florida Panthers, he finally got somewhere with the Islanders. They were desperate for a new owner, which apparently meant that no one was interested in looking into his background too deeply. If they had, they would have discovered that Spano was a huge liar, and not necessarily a good one. Still, a couple forged documents were good enough for the owner of the team to sell to him.
While fans were treating him like a savior and chanting his name at games, Spano was busy avoiding that pesky $165 million he owed. He sent in a $17 million check, knowing full well it would bounce, then wired $1,700 and claimed there had been a mistake at the bank. Despite this being a con not even your landlord would fall for, it worked so well he did it again, sending $5,000 instead of $5 million.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Decimal point confusion was the cause of every economic crisis ever.
After months of this, the lawyers and banks involved realized that maybe this guy didn't have as much money as he said he did, and the previous owner took the team back.
Still, if some broke jerk managed to legally own a professional sports team for three months, just think of what you can accomplish. Reach for the stars, kids!