DA: Man Faked Death to Avoid Jail But Typo Gave Him Away


A Long Island criminal defendant tried faking his death to avoid a jail sentence, but the phony death certificate his lawyer submitted had a glaring spelling error that made it a dead giveaway for a fraud, prosecutors said Tuesday.

25-year-old Robert Berger of Huntington, New York, now faces up to four years in prison if convicted in the alleged scheme. That’s in addition to pending sentences for earlier guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck — punishment prosecutors say he was looking to avoid. “It will never cease to amaze me the lengths some people will go to to avoid being held accountable on criminal charges,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a telephone interview.

Arraigned by video because of the coronavirus pandemic, Berger pleaded not guilty to a single count of offering a false instrument for filing. A judge set bail at $1 but ordered Berger back to jail because of his underlying cases. His next court date is scheduled for July 29.

Link: AP News