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Crime Man who allegedly tried to fake his own death outed by typo, prosecutors say

05:50  23 july  2020
05:50  23 july  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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A Long Island car thief tried to fake his own death to avoid jail — but a glaring typo on the death certificate exposed the fraud, authorities said . The document had been given to him by Berger’s fiancé, officials said . But prosecutors immediately noticed that registry was misspelled as “Regsitry”

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

A New York man who allegedly faked his own death last year in an attempt to avoid sentencing on felony charges was ultimately thwarted by a typo on his forged death certificate, prosecutors said this week.

a close up of text on a white background: This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office. © Nassau County District Attorney's Office via AP This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office.

Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, Long Island, was charged Tuesday with offering a false instrument for filing, a felony.

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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. Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, New York

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. Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, New York

a screenshot of text: This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office. © Nassau County District Attorneys Office via AP This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office.

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said the typo, along with formatting errors, alerted officials that Berger allegedly forged the death certificate "to avoid accountability for other crimes."

"Submitting fake documents to prosecutors is always a bad idea, and while he'd have been caught regardless, failure to use spell check made this alleged fraud especially glaring," she said.

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

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

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According to Singas, Berger was supposed to be sentenced in Nassau County on Oct. 22, 2019, after pleading guilty to two felony charges, but then his attorney's office notified the court that Berger had died. The following week, his then-attorney provided the Nassau County District Attorney with a New Jersey death certificate in order to dismiss the pending sentences, officials said. The death certificate stated that Berger had died of suicide by suffocation one month prior, on Sept. 21.

Upon inspection, prosecutors noticed discrepancies in the font type and size throughout the document, and, glaringly, that the word "Registry" was misspelled as "Regsitry" for the issuer, the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry. A call to the department confirmed that the certificate was fraudulent, officials said.

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NEW YORK (AP) — A Long Island criminal defendant tried faking his death to avoid sentencing, 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. Robert Berger, 25, of Huntington, New York, now

Robert Berger 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 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, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office. © Nassau County District Attorneys Office via AP This image provided by the Nassau County District Attorney's office in Mineola, N.Y., shows a fake death certificate with some information redacted by the DA's Office.

According to prosecutors, Berger's fiancée allegedly gave the lawyer the death certificate. Upon the discovery of the alleged forgery, the lawyer, who told the court he believed he was used to perpetrate fraud, ended his representation, officials said. The district attorney did not indicate in a press release if the fiancée has also been charged in the alleged forgery scheme.

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While supposedly dead, Berger was arrested on Nov. 14, 2019, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, for charges including providing a false identity to law enforcement, Nassau County prosecutors said. He was being held at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility and was extradited to Nassau County earlier this year and remanded, officials said.

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Berger faces up to four years in prison for the forgery charge. His bail was set at $1 at his arraignment on Tuesday, but he remains remanded on the two prior charges -- possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck -- prosecutors said. He has not entered a plea for the latest charge and is due back in court on July 29. ABC News was unable to reach the public defender who is now representing his cases.

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