Dad who enlisted son to help fake his death gets prison time

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MINEOLA, New York (PIX11) – A New York man who enlisted his son to help him fake his own death so he could collect nearly half a million dollars in insurance money will spend up to seven years in prison, a judge ruled Thursday.

Raymond Roth, 49, was sentenced in Nassau County Court to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison. He admitted to faking his own drowning at Jones Beach in the summer of 2012.

In July of that year, Roth’s son called 911 on to report his father missing in the waters off Long Island, according to the Naussau County District Attorney’s Office.

“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,” District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.

The county’s police department dispatched its Bureau of Special Operations, marine unit and a helicopter to try to find Roth. Rescuers were called in from as far away as Boston, Hempstead and Oyster Bay, prosecutors said. The New York State Park Police also aided in the several-day search.

But while crews scoured the coast, Roth was alive and well headed to his timeshare in Orlando where he’d hope to start over using about $410,000 in life insurance benefits, prosecutors said.

Less than a week after Roth’s son reported him missing, his wife found emails between her husband and stepson detailing their plans to fake the patriarch’s demise.

Police collared Roth Aug. 2, 2012, in South Carolina.

His 24-year-old son Jonathan Roth was arrested four days later and ultimately sentenced to one year in jail for helping his father in the scheme.

The elder Roth was also sentenced Thursday in connection with a separate case in which he impersonated a police officer, demanded a woman get into his car or be arrested. When she refused, Roth followed her then tried to get into her car through a locked back door, prosecutors said of the March 21, 2013, confrontation.