New York Man Arrested In Fake Drowning Case

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Jonathan Roth (left) with lawyer Joey Jackson. He called in missing report on father.

Police on Long Island arrested Raymond Roth, who allegedly conspired with his son to fake his own death in a plot to cash in on a life insurance policy.

His son, Jonathan Roth, reported his 47-year-old father missing on July 28 at Jones Beach, saying he had gone into the water and never come back out, according to the police report. The elder Roth drove to Florida and later got a speeding ticket in South Carolina.

Raymond Roth was arrested at a South Nassau Communities Hospital where he was receiving psychiatric treatment and charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsely reporting an incident. He will plead not guilty, his lawyer said.

His son was arrested last week and is free on $10,000 bond. He has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, filing a false report and other charges. In court papers, Jonathan Roth admitted to investigators that the drowning never happened.

According to court documents, the pair plotted to get more than $50,000 in life insurance money.

However, the father’s lawyer said his client was not aware of an insurance scam and that the son was the culprit.

‘‘My client’s intent was to disappear, not to cash in on a life insurance policy,’’ attorney Ben Davis told The Associated Press. He said Jonathan Roth is the one who tried to cash in on the policy just days after reporting his father’s disappearance. ‘‘It was never my client’s intent to make a claim.’’

Days after his disappearance, Raymond Roth was reported to be at a resort in Orlando, Fla. On Aug. 2, he was stopped going 90 mph in Santee, S.C. Police there saw that Roth was listed in a national registry of missing people.

Roth said he was returning to New York, and the officer let him continue driving north; he never showed up for a planned meeting with police, and his attorney later revealed that he instead had been admitted to a hospital for depression.

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