On 6 May 2016, a fake news web site copied an 18 September 2015 article from a separate fake news outfit reporting that former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle had been released from prison due to overcrowding:
Due to prison overcrowding, Jared Fogle, who recently stuck a deal to serve between five and 12 and a half years in prison for child molestation and possession of child pornography, has been released from federal custody and will serve the remainder of his time on house arrest.
Federal authorities stated that it is not uncommon for non-violent offenders to be given the option to serve their sentences on house arrest. Joseph Rory, a representative for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, stated, “Mr. Fogle’s case was considered carefully and it was determined that he is not a threat to society and was eligible to serve his time outside of Federal custody. His movements will be closely monitored, and he will not be allowed outside of his home for more than 1 hour per day. All efforts have been made to keep the public safe. Unfortunately, our prisons are operating at nearly 200% over capacity, and it has become impossible to continue to stuff more inmates into buildings that are coming apart at the seams.”
The later version appeared to achieve more traction on social media than the first, leading many users to believe that Fogel had been deemed a non-violent offender and re-sentenced to house arrest. But neither version of the story was true, as the footer of each page on The News Nerd explained:
The stories posted on TheNewsNerd are for entertainment purposes only. The stories may mimic articles found in the headlines, but rest assured they are purely satirical.
The News Nerd previously published fake news items reporting that Leonardo DiCaprio planned to wear blackface to an upcoming Martin Luther King biopic, Michael Vick was attacked by a pit bull, George Zimmerman was selling a painting of Trayvon Martin for $30,000, and belief in God was classified as a mental illness by the American Psychological Association.