Police say the discovery of a death certificate typo helped them realize there was something fishy in a death investigation.
Police charged a New York man last month offering a false instrument for filing after discovering a death certificate typo. Actually, multiple typos made them suspicious.
CNN reported the 25-year-old faced multiple charges in 2019. A judge set a sentencing hearing for October of that year. Then something curious happened: his attorney told police he had died.
Apparently, the attorney didn’t realize the man wasn’t dead after all. But police noticed the death certificate misspelled the word registry three times as “registry.” They also spotted “inconsistencies” with typefaces.
To put it simpler, the thing just looked a bit off.
Naturally, when you’re an investigator who suspects a death certificate might be false, you call the agency that issued it.
Mental_Floss explains it this way:
Prosecutors made an inquiry to the New Jersey Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry to confirm that they did indeed know how to spell registry and concluded that the document was a forgery.
You can get a better look at the suspect document here.
“We’ve seen it where people fake their deaths so that they can receive life insurance benefits,” the district attorney told the Star Tribune.
But as a plot to avoid a jail sentence? Well, they admit that was a new twist.
And a failure, too!
The faked death certificate prompted an additional felony charge for which the offender could spend four years in prison.
Moral of the story: If you’re going to fake an official document, assume officials know how to spell properly!