2006_06_deathcert.jpgThere are outlandish schemes to avoid criminal prosecution or arrest, but the story of a Kevin Walker in Brooklyn takes the cake. The NY Times tries to explain how Walker almost managed to avoid prosecution by claiming he was dead, but couldn't because the U.S. Attorney who had been dealing with him knew better. Walker had been charged with $210,000 of fruad, "in part by using an account in the name of his restaurant, Jamaica Me Crazy!" (Yes, "Jamaica Me Crazy!"!!) Then he called many area hospitals to find a Kevin Walker who was on his deathbed, and had his lawyer tell a probation officer that, hey, he was dying and couldn't go forward with sentencing. The criminal Walker's lawyer called the hospital, only to hear that "Kevin Walker" had died, and recommmended that the case be closed.

But U.S. Attorney Walter Norkin was suspicious, and said "I read [the death certificate] and I flip out, because I'm used to the defendant." So Norkin had an investigator from the Social Security Administration go to the hospital and learn that the Walker that died was not the frauding Walker.

A probation officer, Leslie Lockwood, called [Walker's attorney, Louis] Aidala, Mr. Norkin said, asking: "Are you sure he's dead? When was the last time you spoke to him?

"Louis Aidala places the officer on hold and calls the defendant's cellphone and, lo and behold, the defendant picks up," Mr. Norkin said. "Lou hangs up with Kevin Walker, takes Leslie Lockwood off hold and says to her: 'Guess what? He's still alive.' "

The Times says Walker was sentenced to to eight years for fraud, which is two more than the recommendation, because of Walker's "unstoppable impulse to commit fraud."