Cawt: Typo foiled man’s attempt to fake death and avoid prison, says DA – National


A Long Island man sentenced to jail tried to fake his own disappearance with a fake death certificate, New York prosecutors said.And he could have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those editors.

Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, NY, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to one count of offering a false instrument of deposit.

Prosecutors say the bogus instrument was a fake death certificate that was almost – but not quite – flawless.

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The document included a few errors that did not match official documents from the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry.

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On the one hand, the suspect wrote “Regsitry” instead of “Registry” in one place, the document says. The word is misspelled at the bottom of the page, under “ISSUED BY”.

The real New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry confirmed that Berger’s death certificate was a fake, prosecutors said.

This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in Mineola, New York, shows a fake death certificate with information redacted by the Attorney General’s office. (Nassau County Attorney’s Office via AP).

Nassau County Attorney’s Office via AP

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Berger was trying to avoid jail for two car-related crimes, to which he had previously pleaded guilty.

Berger was awaiting conviction for possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand theft of a truck last fall. He was due to be sentenced to one year in prison last October, but he fled the state, the DA said. The fake death certificate claims he died by suicide and suffocation at the end of September, shortly before the date of conviction.

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The suspect tried to convince the judge, prosecutors and his lawyer at the time of his death, prosecutors said. His partner would have transmitted the death certificate.

“It will never cease to amaze me how far some people will go to avoid being held responsible for criminal charges,” Singas told The Associated Press.

Berger was arrested in Pennsylvania on November 14, 2019 and extradited to Nassau County in January, PIX 11 reports.

Berger could face up to four more years in prison if convicted of the false document charge.

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A judge set his bail at $ 1 on Tuesday but sent him back to jail because of his other business. He is due to return to court on July 29.

Berger’s public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the PA. His original lawyer said he had nothing to do with the forged document and was used as a pawn in the scheme.

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“Submitting false documents to prosecutors is always a bad idea,” Singas said in a statement.

“Although he was caught anyway, the failure to use spellcheck made this alleged fraud particularly egregious.”

With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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