MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man has been sentenced for faking his own drowning at Jones Beach in a life insurance scheme and for pretending to be a cop in an attempt to lure a woman in Nassau County.
Raymond Roth was sentenced to 2 and 1/3 years to 7 years in prison Thursday and ordered to pay more than $36,000 in restitution to the Coast Guard and Nassau County police.
“With today’s sentence, Mr. Roth will finally be held accountable for his utter disregard for the law and public safety,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.
Roth told the judge that he was sorry for what he did and said his actions were due to a mixture of bi-polar medication and alcohol, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported.
“I wasn’t doing good mentally,” Roth said at his sentencing. “I had no intention of coming back to New York.”
That 911 call triggered an intense air and water search that cost tens of thousands of dollars. While no one actually saw Raymond Roth swim away, the Massapequa man was initially presumed drowned.
Prosecutors said the father-son duo hatched the scheme to fake the elder Roth’s death in hopes of cashing in at least $410,000 in life insurance policies.
Prosecutors said the pair’s plan was for Jonathan Roth to try to file a claim on July 31.
The plot was discovered when prosecutors said Roth’s wife, Evana, stumbled on emails between father and son discussing details of the plan.
Authorities believe Raymond Roth first fled to Florida. He was later pulled over for speeding in South Carolina, before returning to New York to surrender.
Then in March of last year, hours after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges in the life insurance plot, Roth was arrested again for pretending to be a police officer and trying to lure a woman into his van in Freeport.
Prosecutors said he approached a woman and demanded she get into his vehicle or be arrested. When she refused, he followed her to a check cashing business and demanded employees open the locked security door, authorities said.
He was convicted in that case last month on criminal impersonation and attempted unlawful imprisonment charges, but was acquitted in a non-jury trial of attempted kidnapping.
Jonathan Roth pleaded guilty last year to falsely reporting an incident and was originally expected to receive no jail time, but lost the deal after jumping bail. He was sentenced to a year in prison last month.
The judge blasted Raymond Roth at his sentencing Thursday for enlisting the help of his son in the insurance scheme.
“Never in my life did I think I would be here,” Roth said. “I have a lot of fences to mend; my son is disgusted with me.”
But Roth’s attorney Brian Davis said father and son have been meeting at church groups in prison.
“They’re talking like father and son,” he said. “They’ve patched things up.”
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