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Jennifer Aniston movie ruse lures deadbeat dad home to arrest, guilty plea

Jennifer Aniston talking to Gayle King on "CBS This Morning" Feb. 27, 2012
Jennifer Aniston on "CBS This Morning," Feb. 27, 2012 CBS

(CBS/AP) ALLENTOWN, Pa. - With a promise of "friends" like Jennifer Aniston, a Pennsylvania man was lured back home from Hawaii, for a role in a movie with the mega-star actress.

But the promise was bogus - just a ruse to get Joshua Garlathy to return home, where he owes tens of thousands of dollars in back child support.

Yes, this is one thick plot.

Garlathy pleaded guilty Tuesday to willful failure to pay child support, more than a month after he was arrested when his flight from Hawaii landed in Philadelphia. He was nabbed under a new law making it a crime to move out of Pennsylvania to avoid paying child support.

Garlathy was lured back home on May 22 after accepting a role in a phony romantic comedy that the "producer" - actually, nationally known bounty hunter Scott Bernstein - claimed would feature Aniston, according to the Allentown Morning Call newspaper.

Garlathy, an out-of-work musician, would play a small part as a guitar-strumming bad guy named Dirty Nick in a movie called "Banished in Brooklyn," a film about bank robbers, the paper reported.

Although wanted on the warrants, Garlathy hopped on a plane in Hawaii and headed to Pennsylvania with dreams of appearing on the big screen.

The plot had originated with Garlathy's ex-girlfriend, Beth Ann Holderman, who had tracked her ex for years during a 19-year quest to have Garlathy pay up.

"He always wanted to be famous," Holderman said. "Now he's famous," she told the Allentown Morning Call.

When Garlathy was arrested at the Philadelphia International Airport in May, a film crew was rolling. Not for a movie, but for Bernstein's pilot for a reality TV show on deadbeat parents. Garlathy's guitar, saxophone and cash he borrowed from a roommate in Hawaii were confiscated by authorities, the newspaper reported.

Upon pleading guilty Tuesday, Garlathy was ordered to pay more than $32,000 in back child support, and sentenced to 90 days of probation.

And no, Jennifer Aniston is not his friend.

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