Man Arrested for Faking His Own Drowning
Son says he was coerced into Raymond Roth's plot
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 15, 2012 11:11 AM CDT
Raymond Roth, center, is escorted by law enforcement officers to the Long Island State Park Police Headquarters, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012 in Babylon, N.Y.   (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)
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(Newser) – After 10 days in a psychiatric ward, a New York state man has been arrested for allegedly faking his own death—by pretending to drown near Long Island. Raymond Roth faces insurance fraud charges following the incident, in which his son reported he'd disappeared off Jones Beach (leading to an air and sea search estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars). Soon after Jonathan Roth's report, the elder man was spotted at an Orlando resort, then appeared in South Carolina, where he got a speeding ticket.

Raymond eventually made his way back to New York, and was in the psychiatric center following his lawyer's claim that he was "a danger to himself," the Village Voice notes. Jonathan has already pleaded not guilty to an insurance-fraud conspiracy, and now the two men's stories conflict: While Jonathan's lawyer says the 22-year-old was abused and coerced into the plot, Raymond's lawyer holds that the elder man's "intent was to disappear, not to cash in on a life insurance policy," the AP reports (leaving his sobbing wife behind). It was Jonathan, he says, who tried to cash in on the $50,000 policy just days after reporting his father's disappearance.