New York Couple Charged With Staging Their Own Kidnapping
A Long Island, N.Y., couple was arrested for staging their own kidnapping in order to obtain money from a parent, said a police report published Monday.
Stephanie Benatatos, 21 and her boyfriend, Zifiris (John) Valsamis, 24, called Benatatos' mother at 5:20 p.m. ET Sunday to claim that they were abducted by two armed men in a black SUV in the Mastic Beach area.
Zifiris told his girlfriend's mother that the kidnappers released him but would hurt her daughter if he did not pay them the money he owed them for drugs.
After an investigation Suffolk County police detectives deemed the kidnap a hoax and arrested the couple.
Benatatos and Valsamis were both charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.