Thursday, January 10, 2008

Stupid Fraud Tricks

In a scene reminiscent of 1988's Weekend At Bernie's -- or perhaps out of the horrible 1993 sequel, Weekend At Bernie's II -- two men took the body of a dead friend to a check-cashing store to try to cash his what was probably his last Social Security check.  A New York Times story (here) describes the escapades of the two men, one a long-time friend of the dead man, who put his body into a computer chair and pushed it a block and left it outside while they went inside with the check.  What is not entirely clear is why they needed the body, or how its presence would somehow make it easier to get the store to cash the check.  It's doubtful they could fake having the intended recipient sign the back of the check.  While one of the men was trying to push the body into the store, a detective intervened after noticing that the occupant of the chair was rather rigid and didn't look very good.  In Bernie's, the protagonists use the dead body to ward off hit men, so at least there's a reason for carting Bernie around Long Island.  No such reason is apparent here, and it's not clear who gets credit for hatching the plan.  The two men were charged with attempted forgery, attempted possession of a forged instrument and petty larceny -- no word yet on whether the "I'm an idiot" defense will rear its ugly head, but one can only hope. (ph)

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