042208bernies.jpgThe charges have been dropped against the two men who were arrested for trying to cash a dead man’s $355 social security check. Back in January, David Daloia and James O'Hare made headlines with their foiled scheme to capitalize on O’Hare’s roommate’s death by pushing his corpse in an office chair up to a Pay-O-Matic check cashing joint in Hell’s Kitchen. They were arrested en route after a detective spotted the visibly deceased third man.

Prosecutors accused the pair of dressing the corpse in a pair of pants, a T-shirt and sneakers before taking him for a ride, and formally charged them with “failure to bury a dead body in a reasonable amount of time,” among other things. But because autopsies were unable to determine the roommate’s exact time of death, the case was dropped today for lack of evidence.

The two men maintained throughout that their 66-year-old pal was alive and kicking when they took him for the spin, but Daloia also admitted that the plan to cash the check was "stupid." And outside the courtroom, the two seemed shocked by the level of media attention generated by their arrests. Daloia told the press, “I thought Britney Spears took her pants down again.”

Photograph of O'Hare, background, and Daloia, foreground, being taken from the stationhouse by Louis Lanzano/AP