NEW YORK (AP) — A Very long Island criminal defendant experimented with faking his death to stay clear of a jail sentence, but the phony dying certification his lawyer submitted had a obtrusive spelling error that created it a lifeless giveaway for a fraud, prosecutors claimed Tuesday.
Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, New York, now faces up to 4 decades in prison if convicted in the alleged plan. Which is in addition to pending sentences for previously guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck — punishment prosecutors say he was wanting to steer clear of.
“It will never ever stop to amaze me the lengths some people today will go to to keep away from getting held accountable on legal fees,” Nassau County District Legal professional Madeline Singas said in a telephone interview.
Arraigned by movie Tuesday for the reason that of the coronavirus pandemic, Berger pleaded not responsible to a single depend of featuring a fake instrument for submitting. A judge set bail at $1 but purchased Berger back to jail simply because of his underlying circumstances. His following courtroom date is scheduled for July 29.
A message trying to get comment was left with a community defender who took about Berger’s circumstance soon after the law firm who submitted the suspicious dying certification claimed he’d been utilized as a pawn and experienced very little to do with the alleged shenanigans.
Scheduled to be sentenced to a year in jail previous October on the theft-connected expenses, Berger fled the point out, although using measures to encourage his then-law firm, prosecutors and the decide that he had killed himself — which include allegedly working with his fiance to pass along a bogus dying certification, prosecutors claimed.
At first glance, Berger’s purported demise certificate appeared like an official document issued by the New Jersey Division of Well being, Vital Stats and Registry, but there was a person big issue: Registry was spelled “Regsitry,” prosecutors claimed. There have been also inconsistencies in the font form and size that raised suspicions, they stated.
The true New Jersey Office of Health, Essential Data and Registry confirmed that Berger’s dying certificate was a fake, prosecutors explained.
Berger was alive, but not solely perfectly. Though supposedly lifeless, he’d been arrested in suburban Philadelphia on fees such as allegations he furnished a false identification to legislation enforcement and stole from a Catholic college or university. He was sentenced in January to up to a 12 months in jail, according to Pennsylvania courtroom data.
Berger’s scenario was reminiscent of a single 6 years in the past in which a previous Coastline Guard petty officer-turned-shoe salesman posed as a previous armed forces lawyer, soliciting clientele and appearing in court. That male, Kenneth Goldstein, was outed as a fraud when he started off rambling in an un-lawyerlike vogue in a Lengthy Island courtroom.
“You’re gonna get caught,” Singas reported. “We say it all the time. Criminal offense does not spend. We’ll capture up with you at some point. In this circumstance, it is under no circumstances a excellent plan to submit phony files to the district legal professional. We were being ready to make absolutely sure that he wasn’t ready to get absent with it.”
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