A man from Long Island, United States faked his death to avoid a jail sentence. However, the fake death certificate his lawyer submitted had a glaring spelling error which resulted in him getting caught.
25-year-old, Robert Berger, from Huntington, New York, faces up to four year in prison if convicted in the alleged fraud. This is in addition to the charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck.
When Berger was scheduled to be sentenced in October last year Berger fled the state, while taking steps to convince his then-lawyer, prosecutors and the judge that he had killed himself by asking his fiance to pass along a bogus death certificate.
Initially the death certificate looked like an official document issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, but there was one big problem: Registry was spelled ‘Regsitry’. There were also inconsistencies in the font type and size that raised suspicions.
Later, New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry confirmed that Berger’s death certificate was a fake.
Berger was alive, but not entirely well. While supposedly dead, he’d been arrested in suburban Philadelphia on charges including allegations he provided a false identity to law enforcement and stole from a Catholic college. He was sentenced in January to up to a year in jail, according to Pennsylvania court records.
Now amid the coronavirus pandemic, Berger joined the hearing through a video conference and pleaded not guilty. The judge ordered him jail due to his underlying cases until the next hearing scheduled for 29th July.