SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Salem man who faked his own death to beat several court cases has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Michael Rosen was sentenced Thursday in Salem Superior Court after pleading guilty to forgery charges.

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Authorities say the 43-year-old Rosen walked into court in July pretending to be his brother and handed a clerk a death certificate showing that he had died of “cardio-respiratory” arrest and was buried in Temple “Isreal” Cemetery.

It worked — at first — as a judge dismissed Rosen’s cases. Rosen’s probation officer became suspicious because he had recently seen Rosen in good health.

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Rosen had made the fake death certificate on a computer using a real one as a template.

The Salem News reports that Rosen’s lawyer blamed the incident on mental health issues.

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