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May 6th, 2010
Criminalz iz Stoopid...

When Matthew, right was late for court, he called his twin brother Marcus, left - who took the stand in his place until lawyers realised something was awry

A pair of twin brothers are facing double the trouble after they swapped places with one another at court.
Marcus Mauceri stepped into the dock in Clearwater, Florida, when his sibling Matthew was late for his fraud trial.
But the scam landed them both in jail after lawyers realised something was amiss and court officials checked their fingerprints.
Matthew had his bail rescinded and now faces additional charges for failure to appear and contempt of court.
His brother was charged with criminal contempt and sentenced to 179 days behind bars.
The 40-year-old twins came up with their hoax plan on Tuesday morning, when Matthew Mauceri was due in court for the start of his trial on scheming to defraud charges.
The defendant, who was flying into Clearwater from out of town, realised he was not going to get there on time and called his twin brother Marcus for help.
Marcus arrived at court, telling officials and swearing under oath that he was Matthew.
But the plan was foiled by defence lawyer James Thomas who, having previously represented both brothers, realised there was something fishy going on.
Judge Joseph Bulone launched a quick investigation and called in fingerprint experts to check the defendant's identity.
'One of our fingerprint technicians was called by the judge to do a print comparison,' Sergeant Tom Nestor from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.
'They made a comparison and said "No, this is not Matthew",' he added.
After appointing a public defender for Marcus, Judge Bulone found him guilty of contempt of court.
'I'm just going to find that by Marcus pretending to be Matthew... that perpetrates a fraud upon the court,' he said.
Court officials confirmed the twins are both in custody in the county jail - in separate cells.
Marcus told Judge Bulone he planned to hire his own lawyer and appeal against the verdict.




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