TIP: Photoshopping Self Into Charity Photos Not Likely to Result In Lighter Sentence

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In a final effort to put his fraud skills to good use, Daryl Simon tried to scam the court that was about to sentence him by offering fake documents and pictures to support his bid for leniency.  Unfortunately for him, he was not as skilled at Photoshop as he had been at credit-card fraud.

He was just about as brazen, though.  The New York Post reported that Simon had actually Photoshopped himself into pictures of other people doing charity work to make it appear that he, too, was a good person.  In one shot, Simon appears to comfort a patient who is struggling through a rehabilitation exercise.  In another he appears to be posing with another physical-therapy patient, and in a third he is depicted standing next to a teen student.

Those last two apparently led to his downfall, though, because Simon used the same image of himself in both doctored photos, and flipping the image was not enough to conceal the fakery from federal prosecutors.  "Evidence that his image was inserted and flipped can be seen by examining the single detail on his shirt above his fingers — that detail appears on the left side of the shirt in the top photograph, and on the right side of the shirt in the bottom photograph," prosecutors wrote in a court filing.  (No photos yet, but I'm looking.)

Simon also submitted bogus letters on his behalf from various individuals and charitable organizations.  Those did not fool anybody, either.

Judge Stephen Robinson was sufficiently displeased with the attempted sentencing scam that he hit Simon with a sentence of 285 months, 50 months more than what the maximum would have been under the normal sentencing-guidelines range.  The extra time makes the sentence almost 24 years.

Part of that sentence was for jumping bail after pleading guilty to credit-card fraud in 2007.  He was found in Queens about a year later.  According to the Post, during that year Simon "worked as a magician and went by the name 'Justin Lusion.'"  He should get additional time for that stage name, in my opinion, but assuming his magic skills are in the same league as his ability with Photoshop, at least we don't have to worry about him vanishing from prison.

Link: New York Post