A man is facing jail time after an embarrassing spelling mistake exposed him trying to fake his own death.
Robert Berger, 25, from New York, has been charged with faking his own death and using his lawyer to provide a fake death certificate.
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said Berger was due to be sentenced for being in possession of a stolen Lexus and trying to steal a ute.
But Meir Moza, Berger’s lawyer, told the court he had died on October 22 last year.
Mr Moza then provided the court on October 28 a death certificate.
However, the district attorney’s office noted the font and size changed in the document and pointed out a glaring spelling error.
“Prosecutors observed that the word ‘Registry’ in the department name was misspelled as ‘Regsitry’ in the ‘ISSUED BY’ section,” the DA said in a statement.
“After calling to verify the certificate with the New Jersey Department of Health, Vital Statistics and Registry, investigators confirmed the certificate was, in fact, fraudulent.”
Ms Singas said “typos and formatting errors” were a giveaway.
“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.
Mr Moza said his client had “engaged in a conspiracy and used him to attempt to perpetrate a fraud upon the court, prosecutors, his firm, and himself”.
He told the court Berger’s fiancee gave him the document and he no longer represents Berger.
A copy of the document was also handed to Suffolk County where Berger has another criminal case.
Berger could face four years in jail as a result of the alleged fraud.
He is due back in court on July 29.
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