Man accused of faked drowning, charged with insurance fraud
Raymond Roth of Massapequa, N.Y., was arrested Wednesday on charges including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsely reporting an incident.
The New York Times
A New Yorker suspected of faking his death to collect up to $400,000 in life insurance was arrested Wednesday and formally charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy and filing a false report.
Raymond Roth, 47, of Massapequa, N.Y., on Long Island, was arrested by New York State Park Police at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, where he had been discharged after a psychiatric evaluation. He had admitted himself to the hospital after reports this month that his drowning was a hoax.
Roth, who had recently been fired from his job as a telecommunications manager, was initially believed to have disappeared July 28 in unprotected waters off Jones Beach, prompting an extensive search. His disappearance, officials said, was reported in a 911 call by Jonathan Roth, his son, who told police he had gone to the beach with his father but lost track of him while answering texts.
The search was called off Aug. 1, when Raymond Roth's brother, Robert, alerted the police that Roth was at his Florida time share in Orlando. Before the authorities could verify this tip, they received a call from police in South Carolina who told them Roth had just been stopped driving 90 mph on Interstate 95 near Santee. He eventually returned to New York and admitted himself to the hospital.
At a news conference in Mineola on Wednesday afternoon, Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County district attorney, said Roth's clothes, wallet and iPhone were left on the beach but that the phone had been wiped clean of data and his driver's license taken from the wallet.
At Roth's arraignment, where he was released on a $100,000 bond, his lawyer, Brian Davis, said his client was manic-depressive.
Davis said Roth had plotted his escape but never planned to file a false insurance claim. Davis blamed Jonathan Roth for the fraud.
Davis told reporters his client was not in his right mind at the time of his flight.
Jonathan Roth, 22, was arrested Aug. 6 on the same charges that his father faces and subsequently pleaded not guilty.
Raymond Roth's wife, Evana Roth, has said she knew nothing of the scheme and was planning his funeral when she learned he was still alive through email exchanges between him and Jonathan Roth, her stepson.