In October 2006, Henry Bingham a man from Wyoming who wanted time off told his workmates that his two year-old-daughter had died. At first, his plan went swimmingly – he was allowed compassionate leave, his sympathetic colleagues clubbed together to give him more than $1300 and his labor union chipped in with some cash too.
The one thing that Bingham hadn’t counted on was someone from his office telephoning his wife to offer condolences – and her telling them that the child was actually alive and well.
Bingham was quickly arrested by the local sheriff for obtaining property under false pretences – a charge with a maximum jail sentence of 10 years. He told a sheriff’s deputy that he made up the story to try to get time off from work, but, strangely, he was unable to explain why he had taken the money – and why, indeed, he had in fact continued to turn up at work.