He faked his own death to escape jail time, so that makes it double busted.

Not only do typos look bad when texting your boss or sending that very important professional email, sometimes they can send you straight to jail. For instance, say you fake your own death to avoid going to jail and mess up the false death certificate with a simple spelling mistake… well, let’s just say the consequences won’t be very pleasant. Ask Robert Berger, the 25-year-old man who tried to pull this exact stunt.

© Picture credit: AP

Berger, from Long Island, New York, had been charged with fourth-degree possession of stolen property in December 2018, and third-degree attempted grand larceny. He pleaded guilty to both charges and was supposed to be sentenced on October 22, 2019. However, when the day came Berger’s former attorney, Meir Moza, stated that his client had passed away. As proof, the judge was given Berger’s death certificate, which stated “suffocation” as cause of death due to suicide.

What a regrettable outcome, one would have thought. But when the court was given the death certificate, the jig was up. After conducting more investigations, they noticed that the word “registry” was misspelled, and that different font types and sizes were also used, clearly meaning the death certificate was not at all authentic. It’s times like this that remind us of the importance of a simple spell-check. Yes, that double-check is super necessary.

Apparently, though, Moza wasn’t aware of the scam. He informed the judge that Berger “engaged in a conspiracy and used him to attempt to perpetrate a fraud”, and said that he would stop representing Berger.

After Berger’s attempted scam was discovered, the police didn’t take too long to catch him. In November 2019, Berger was arrested and jailed in Delaware County, Pennsylvania (on unrelated charges), and was extradited to Nassau County in January this year. Bail for his latest crime was set at only $1, but he’s still in jail due to his previous crimes.

“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 commented during an interview. “You’re gonna get caught, we say it all the time. Crime doesn’t pay. We’ll catch up with you eventually. In this case, it’s never a good idea to submit phony documents to the district attorney. We were able to make sure that he wasn’t able to get away with it.”, Singas said.

Berger’s pants might have not on been fire, but he sure turned into a liar while trying to avoid going to jail. Faking documents will never be the answer to solve any problem, because you’ll definitely get caught, whether they have typos or not.

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