Twins pulled courtroom switcheroo

May 5, 2010 at 2:27 PM

CLEARWATER, Fla., May 5 (UPI) -- A Florida man was sentenced to 179 days in jail for impersonating his identical twin brother at a criminal trial.

Assistant State Attorney Evan Brodsky said Matthew Mauceri, 40, was due in a Pinellas County courtroom at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday and asked his twin, Marcus, to stand in for him when it appeared he was going to be late in flying to Florida from Indiana, the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune reported Wednesday.

Matthew Mauceri was arrested in 2007 and charged with scheme to defraud for allegedly failing to pay for about $160,000 worth of transmission parts from an Ohio firm. He was freed on $100,000 bail.

Prosecutors said Marcus arrived at the courtroom and repeatedly identified himself as Matthew, even when defense attorney Jimmy Thomas became suspicious and the judge asked to take his fingerprints. The fingerprints positively identified the man as Marcus and he admitted to impersonating his brother.

Judge Joseph Bulone found Marcus Mauceri in contempt of court and sentenced him to 179 days in jail.

Matthew Mauceri arrived at the courthouse at about noon and was jailed on a charge of failing to appear for trial. Both men were taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

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