Long Island man who faked drowning arrested again

March 28, 2013 2:24:18 PM PDT
A man who faked his own drowning death off a Long Island beach was arrested Wednesday on charges he impersonated a police officer and ordered a woman to get into his van, police said.

Raymond Roth, 48, of Long Beach, was arrested on charges of criminal impersonation, attempted kidnapping and attempted burglary.

In surveillance video, Roth was seen telling employees at a Freeport check cashing business that he was a police officer. He had just chased a woman into that location, and officials believe he had done the same thing a week earlier.

This new arrest comes shortly after Roth pleaded guilty to insurance fraud for faking his own death at Jones Beach. In that incident, his wife became suspicious and tracked him down in South Carolina.

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.

He's due to be arraigned Thursday in First District Court in Hempstead, and he could face a substantial prison sentence if convicted. He is expected to plead not guilty.

Police are also investigating the possibility that Roth was involved in a third attempted kidnapping of a woman.

Roth's fake drowning made headlines back in the summer of 2012. 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 August 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.

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

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

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)