Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Another for my proposed TV show on twin crime...

The St. Petersburg Times reports on the case of a twin brother who stood in for the other in court, and the lawyer who eventually turned them in:
"It put me in a really tough spot," Thomas said later.

Matthew Mauceri was scheduled to begin trial Tuesday on one count of scheming to defraud. The 2007 case involved $160,000 in checks that didn't clear and auto parts that allegedly never got paid for.

On Tuesday morning, when Thomas started having doubts about his purported client, he asked the man if he really was Matthew Mauceri. The man said he was. Thomas doubted it but hadn't seen his client since December.

"The bottom line was, I wasn't 100 percent," he said.

But he was in a dilemma. On the one hand, he is required to defend his client's rights. On the other hand, ethical guidelines prevent him from allowing a "fraud upon the court."

Also, if it was the wrong brother, Thomas was concerned that he would be discussing information meant only for the brother who was actually supposed to be on trial.