David Scher, a former Suffolk Law student, today pleaded guilty to trying to alter court documents to try to change his Guilty finding for stealing a laptop from the school to Not Guilty, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. reports.
Scher was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in jail, but will only have to serve a year in jail as long as he stays out of trouble for two years after his release, the DA's office says.
Scher, who received a suspended sentence for laptop theft in 2014, was indicted last year on charges of tampering with a court document, forgery, perjury, and uttering a false document.
Prosecutors charged he requested his docket folder from the clerk's office - such folders are normally public records - changed the page reading "Guilty" to "Not Guilty" and then started using that finding in an attempt to rebuild his life. This included citing the document in an appeal to the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services to revise his record and at a hearing after his conviction on whether he left the scene of a car accident in violation of his suspended-sentence ruling.
Officials say Scher was undone by the fact that both the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services and the Probation Department now keep records electronically, in addition to relying on paper records held in courthouse storage.