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N.Y. man charged, accused of faking death in insurance scam

By Julia Greenberg, CNN
updated 9:03 PM EDT, Wed August 15, 2012
  • Raymond Roth, 47, faces charges of insurance fraud and conspiracy
  • He was first reported missing off Jones Beach, New York, on July 28 by his 22-year-old son
  • Raymond Roth's attorney, Brian Davis, could not be immediately reached for comment

New York (CNN) -- Police say a Long Island man accused of faking his own death to collect on an insurance policy was arrested early Wednesday.

Raymond Roth, 47, was arraigned later in the day on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy, and falsely reporting an incident, the Nassau County district attorney's office said in a news release. Bail was set at $100,000 bond or cash, said the office's spokesman, Chris Munzing

He was first reported missing off Jones Beach, New York, on July 28 by his 22-year-old son, Jonathan.

After an extensive search lasting several days, New York State Park Police said, authorities learned that Roth was not "drowned and dead," but had instead been pulled over for a speeding violation while driving in South Carolina.

Roth's wife, Evana, said she believes her husband and son conspired to fake his death in order to receive life insurance payments after Roth was fired from his job last month.

Her attorney, Lenard Leeds, said she had been unaware of the alleged ruse until she uncovered an e-mail correspondence between the two men days after her husband disappeared.

"There needs to be a way for me to find out how things are going. Call me Sunday night at 8 PM at the resort," Roth said in an e-mail to his son on July 27, remarking on his plans to travel to Florida. Evana Roth revealed the e-mail during a news conference last week, and police later confirmed it.

Jonathan Roth was arrested by state police last week and faces charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, and filing a false report, the district attorney's office said.

Jonathan Roth's attorney, Joey Jackson, defended his client, saying, "There was abuse here, manipulation here, coercion here" from the father.

Raymond Roth's attorney, Brian Davis, said his client denies that allegation "completely ... They were not working together. My client wanted to disappear. He was under a tremendous amount of pressure and he was under medication that was exacerbating his condition."

Davis added that Raymond Roth was treated at a hospital for two weeks after he reappeared for "acting erratically" and for potential self-endangerment

Evana Roth said during the news conference last week that she was "disgusted ... angry."

"There's no way to describe that he could even have possibly thought of being able to get away with this," she added.

More from CNN Justice:

JFK plotter accused of planning attacks on attorneys

Peterson trial focuses on alleged threat to kill his wife

Appeals court halts Hasan case over beard

CNN's Dominique Debucquoy-Dodley contributed to this report.

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