HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Nassau County man, who allegedly faked his own death, is in a Long Island hospital.
Raymond Roth has been involuntarily committed to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and will surrender and face charges in the alleged plot when doctors feel he is no longer a danger to himself, according to his attorney Brian Davis.
“He’s being treated right now. He needs the treatment. He’s a danger to himself,” Davis told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria Reports
The 47-year-old is suspected of concocting an elaborate scheme to fake his own death with the help of his 22-year-old son, Jonathan Roth, who is already behind bars and charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident.
According to court documents, Jonathan Roth confessed that a frantic 911 call reporting his father had drowned in the waters at Jones Beach on July 28 was a lie.
“The defendant at all times was fully aware that his father never walked into the water and had in fact driven off in his personal vehicle,” the complaint states.
The younger Roth said he’s an innocent victim of his fathers plot, but police said he confessed admitting he knew that his father had left the beach to flee to Florida.
Roth’s girlfriend, Kristi Mayleas, also said she watched her devastated boyfriend try to cope with the supposed death of his father, never suspecting he knew something was amiss.
“I’ve seen him cry, I’ve seen his body shake,” she said. “I mean, I don’t know how anyone could fake those reactions.”
Prosecutors, however, claim the 22-year-old was involved in an alleged scheme with his father to obtain more than $50,000 from life insurance policies.
Raymond Roth’s wife believed he had drowned until she found emails between the father and son exposing his alleged plan to disappear to collect insurance money, which sources told CBS 2 was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“He’s a horrible person, he’s is an alcoholic, he’s just an abuser in every which way,” Evana Roth, told CBS 2’s Gusoff.
“He is not an ogre. He does have psychiatric issues,” Roth’s attorney Brian Davis said.
Davis painted a very different picture of Raymond Roth. He said the former communications manager was fired and that set off a string of what he calls “irrational moves.”
Davis said Roth was hit by a car as a child and has had mental health issues ever since.
Jonathan Roth pleaded not guilty to the charges on Tuesday. When asked if his comments were the opening salvo of a psychiatric defense, he said it would be very hard to prove. Davis added that he hopes Roth — once charged — makes bail and re-enters the hospital to get the help he needs.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said their plan was for Jonathan Roth to try to file a claim on July 31.
A judge set bail at $10,000 bond or $5,000 cash, but Mayleas said it is unlikely that he will be able to post the bond.
His next court date is scheduled for Thursday. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Raymond Roth has not officially been arrested or charged, though prosecutors said charges are likely to be filed in the coming days.
The younger Roth is due back in court on Thursday.
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