Massapequa Man Who Faked His Own Death for Insurance Money Sentenced to Prison

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Raymond Roth, 49, also sentenced for pretending to be a police officer while demanding that a woman get into his vehicle.

Mineola, NY - April 24, 2014 - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced the sentencing today of a Massapequa man for his involvement in a scheme to defraud a life insurance company by faking his own death in the ocean off Jones Beach in July 2012. The man was also sentenced today in an unrelated case of police impersonation in Freeport.  

Raymond Roth, 49, was sentenced by Nassau County Court Judge Tammy Robbins to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. Roth was convicted in March 2014 in a bench trial before Judge Robbins of Attempted Burglary in the 3rd Degree (an E felony), Criminal Impersonation in the 1st Degree (an E felony), Attempted Unlawful Imprisonment in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor), and Criminal Impersonation in the 2nd Degree (an A misdemeanor) for the incident in Freeport. Roth pleaded guilty in March 2013 to Conspiracy in the 4th Degree (an E felony) for his involvement in the insurance fraud scheme.

His son, Jonathan Roth, 24, of Massapequa, was sentenced on March 4 by Judge Robbins to one year in jail for helping his father in the insurance scheme.

“Due to the criminal acts committed by this defendant, first responders were diverted from their life-saving duties to be unwilling players in a scheme to defraud an insurance company of thousands of dollars,” DA Rice said. “Then on the same day he pleaded guilty to this crime, he went back out into the community and threatened a woman with arrest, followed her, and attempted to break into her place of business. With today’s sentence, Mr. Roth will finally be held accountable for his utter disregard for the law and public safety.”

DA Rice said that on July 28, 2012, Jonathan Roth called 911 and reported his father missing in the waters off Jones Beach. The Nassau County Police Department dispatched its Bureau of Special Operations, its marine unit, and a helicopter. They were joined in their rescue efforts by resources from as far away as Boston, Bay Constables from the towns of Hempstead and Oyster Bay, and the New York State Park Police. The search continued into the night and lasted several days.

During the search, however, Raymond Roth was actually alive and well and on his way to his timeshare in Orlando. Roth believed that by faking his death, his son and wife would be able to collect at least $410,000 in life insurance benefits, and that he could make a new life for himself in Florida.

On August 1, 2012, Raymond Roth’s wife discovered emails between her husband and stepson, Jonathan Roth, discussing details of Raymond Roth’s plan to fake his own death. New York State Park Police were then notified of these emails.

Raymond Roth was pulled over by police in South Carolina on Aug. 2, 2012. Roth was identified by his driver’s license, which he had removed from his wallet before disappearing from Jones Beach on July 28 and had used to check into the Orlando timeshare. Jonathan Roth was arrested Aug. 6, 2012.

In a separate case, Roth approached a woman in Freeport on March 21, 2013 and while pretending to be a police officer, demanded she get into his vehicle or be arrested. When she refused, Roth followed her to a check cashing establishment where he tried to gain access to a locked back door.

Roth was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department on March 27, 2013. Roth was convicted in a bench trial by Judge Robbins on March 7, 2014.

Assistant District Attorney Everett Witherell of DA Rice’s Major Offense Bureau is prosecuting the case. Raymond Roth is represented by Brian Davis, Esq. Jonathan Roth is represented by Joey Jackson, Esq.

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