New York man fakes death to avoid jail but typo gives him away

  • 01 Aug - 07 Aug, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

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. Robert Berger, 25, 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. At first glance, Berger’s purported 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, they said.