Massachusetts criminal charges can seem daunting under the best of circumstances. Add in other outside stressors, such as having lost a loved one, and it may be even more challenging. This appears to be the case for a man who is now facing charges, including forgery and identity fraud, that stem from what he claims was his attempt to cover his brother’s funeral expenses.

The man’s brother died a month before the other man allegedly tried to cash an unemployment check belonging to the deceased man. A bank teller noticed that there was a hold on the bank account belonging to the deceased brother. She apparently notified the branch manager, and the police were contacted.

Reports indicate that the bank may have surveillance photos that show the man attempting to withdraw money from the brother’s account on two other dates after the man’s death. The man reportedly explained to authorities that he was attempting to obtain enough money to pay for his brother’s final expenses. However, since he did not have power of attorney or any other documents indicating that he had the appropriate authority to access the brother’s accounts, police arrested him.

As a result, the man is facing criminal charges that include forgery of a document, identity fraud and uttering a false check, along with others. A Massachusetts judge did allow the man to be released from jail on his own recognizance and scheduled another court date. The man will now need to decide whether to fight the charges made against him or attempt to reach a plea arrangement with prosecutors.

Source: Danvers, MA Patch, “Man Allegedly Tries to Cash Dead Brother’s Unemployment Check,” Robert Gates, Feb. 21, 2013