NYer who faked drowning faces new charges

AP News
Posted: Mar 28, 2013 1:51 PM

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — A New Yorker who faked his drowning death now faces charges that he impersonated a policeman while demanding that a woman get into his van.

Raymond Roth, 48, of Long Beach, was held without bail following a court appearance in Hempstead on Thursday in which he pleaded not guilty to charges of criminal impersonation, attempted kidnapping and attempted burglary.

Roth was arrested Wednesday. Authorities said that on March 21, Roth identified himself as a police officer and demanded that a woman get into his van in Freeport. The woman refused and ran into a check-cashing facility for safety. Roth followed her into the facility but fled before police arrived, authorities said.

Authorities said they were looking into whether Roth had a connection to two similar incidents.

Earlier on March 21, Roth had accepted a plea bargain in the fake-drowning case that included a 90-day jail sentence. Roth pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy.

He and his son, Jonathan Roth, plotted to collect about $400,000 in life insurance, prosecutors said.

On July 28, Jonathan Roth told authorities his father went for a swim at Jones Beach and never came back. Responders searched for Roth for several days, while he drove to his timeshare in Orlando, Fla., prosecutors said.

Roth's wife found emails between Raymond and her stepson, Jonathan, discussing the plot, and authorities were alerted.

On Aug. 2, Raymond Roth was issued a speeding ticket in Santee, S.C., and told police there he was returning to New York to meet with authorities. He did not show up for that meeting. He was arrested Aug. 6.

Roth's attorney Brian Davis said Roth had been admitted to a hospital for psychiatric treatment and had tried to commit suicide there.

On Thursday, Davis said his client "has some serious psychiatric issues" and was on multiple medications for mental and physical issues.

The case against 22-year-old Jonathan Roth is pending.