Are you old enough to remember “The Patty Duke Show”? You know, with Patty, then a young starlet fresh off her Broadway and film triumphs as Helen Keller, playing “identical cousins” Patty and Cathy (with a British accent)? If you do, you surely remember the disturbingly catchy theme song about “two pairs of matching bookends, different as night and day!” Well, here’s a story about recent “matching bookends” who caused some ethics problems. To introduce it properly, to the melody of Patty Duke’s theme:
When Matthew, a fraud, is late for court
His lawyer tries
To give support!
But Marcus comes to save the day
And pose as Matt, so it’s okay!
What a crazy sport!
Cause they’re brothers!
One twin will help the other
Even if it means jail!
Tampa attorney Jimmy Thomas couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but something was funny about his client, Matthew Maucari, when he showed up for his trial on fraud charges. He just didn’t look the same as Thomas remembered, though it had been a while since he had seen him. The reason: it wasn’t Matthew, but his identical twin, Maurice, who was standing in for Matthew so he wouldn’t get in trouble for missing the trial. The lawyer, who didn’t want to get in trouble for aiding a fraud on the court, made enough inquiries that the judge quizzed Maurice, who continued to pose as his missing brother. Eventually fingerprints proved he wasn’t Matthew.
So good brother Maurice was sentenced to almost 6 months of jail time for contempt of court. Matthew may do better: his trial was rescheduled.
Maurice gets some ethics points for sacrificing himself for his twin, but perjury and fraud on the court goes far, far beyond acceptable fraternal loyalty. He may have kept his brother out of jail, though. Maybe he feels that it’s worth it.
The real question is, would Cathy have done this for Patty?
…Cause they’re brothers!
And you’ll find…
They sigh alike, they lie alike, they catch the judge’s eye alike!
You could lose your mind!
Are two of a kind!