Man fakes his own death, but typo gives him away
A typo on a New Jersey death certificate foiled a Long Island man’s attempt to fake his own death. According to the Associated Press, Robert Berger had entered guilty pleas to charges of possession of a stolen Lexus and attempted grand larceny of a truck and was awaiting sentencing when he fled the state of New York (he was going to be sentenced to a year in prison).
He then took steps to convince his then-lawyer, prosecutors and the judge that he had killed himself — including allegedly using his fiance to pass along a bogus death certificate, prosecutors said.
His death certificate, according to CBS 3 in Philadelphia, looked like an official document issued by the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, but there was one big problem. Prosecutors say the word 'registry' was spelled 'regsitry.” There were also reportedly inconsistencies in the font type and size that raised suspicions, they said.
The state of New Jersey confirmed that the death certificate was bogus. But he was still busy while he was supposedly dead. CBS 3 Philadelphia reports he’d been arrested in Pennsylvania, busted on charges of giving false identification to a police officer, and stealing from a Catholic college.
This week, Berger pleaded not guilty to a single count of offering a false instrument for filing. He now faces up to four years in prison on the charge of offering a false document for filing. He still awaits sentencing on the original larceny charges, as well.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.