L.I. Couple Accused of Faking Kidnapping to Extort Parents

Monday, Jun 14, 2010  |  Updated 11:12 AM EDT
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L.I. Couple Accused of Faking Kidnapping to Extort Parents

Stephanie Benatatos and Zifiris Valsamis.

A Long Island couple is under arrest after police say they staged their own kidnapping to get money from one of their parents.

Mastic Beach couple Stephanie Benatatos, 21, and her boyfriend, Zifiris (John) Valsamis, 24,  claimed they had been kidnapped by two armed men in a sport utility vehicle who were holding them in return for money they owed for drugs.

The pair made telephone calls to Benatatos parents on Sunday.

After an investigation, police determined that the abduction was a hoax.

The couple was charged with attempted grand larceny and conspiracy.

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