NY man suspected of faking drowning is re-arrested

August 16, 2012 - 1:47 PM
APTOPIX Swimmer Search

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. Roth is suspected of faking his own drowning at a New York beach in a scheme to collect on a life insurance policy. The 47-year-old was reported missing by his son on July 28 at Jones Beach. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — An unemployed man suspected of faking his own drowning at a New York beach to collect on life insurance was arrested hours after being released on bail, charged this time with violating a court order against contacting his estranged wife, police said Thursday.

Raymond Roth's attorney explained at his client's second arraignment in as many days that the 47-year-old Massapequa man was suicidal and did not fully comprehend the court order when it was served to him while he was at a hospital receiving psychiatric treatment last week.

A judge released Roth on $10,000 bail in the latest case and instructed him that he was to have no contact whatsoever with Evana Roth. Prosecutors had sought $1 million bail.

Roth was arrested early Thursday after calling his wife three times following his release on charges including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud stemming from his July 28 disappearance at Jones Beach. He posted $100,000 bail in that case.

A prosecutor said Roth called Evana Roth three times on Wednesday evening. The first two times she did not pick up. The third time, Roth allegedly said, "Evana, you know who this is." Davis said his client was attempting to discuss the planned sale of the couple's home.

Evana Roth confirmed that was part of the discussion, saying at a news conference Thursday that her husband told her: "I love you, you love me. We have to talk about the house." She called the entire ordeal a "nightmare."

Raymond Roth was reported missing by his 22-year-old son, Jonathan. He told authorities his father went for a swim and never came back. Authorities conducted an extensive search for him over several days before receiving word that he was alive and staying at a time-share he owned at a Florida resort.

On Aug. 2, he was issued a speeding ticket in Santee, S.C., and told police he was returning to New York to meet with police.

He never showed up for that meeting. Davis later revealed that Roth was admitted to a hospital for psychiatric treatment. Davis told reporters following his release that Roth was being treated for manic depression and bipolar disorder. The attorney on Thursday revealed that his client had attempted to commit suicide while in the hospital by slashing his throat.

Prosecutors say father and son conspired to collect on more than $400,000 in life insurance policies. Jonathan Roth, who was arrested on the same charges last week, has denied the charges. His attorney claims he was coerced into cooperating.

Davis has countered that the elder Roth was not aware of an insurance scam, saying his son contacted a life insurance company about cashing in on a policy without his knowledge.

Davis said Roth vanished because he had been under stress after losing his job in mid-July and had been taking a combination of medications that made him act irrationally. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said Roth had been fired from his job at a New York City telecommunications company after threatening co-workers. Nassau police later confiscated a handgun that Roth owned and suspended his pistol permit.

Evana Roth has released emails from father to son implicating both in the scheme that she found on a family computer. In an email written before he vanished, Raymond Roth instructed his son to contact him at an Orlando resort to update him on developments following his disappearance.

Evana Roth also told reporters that her husband had tried to contact her by telephone several times while he was missing, although the calls apparently stopped once he was admitted to the hospital. The couple has filed for divorce.

Prosecutors said Wednesday that an air and sea search for Roth cost in excess of $30,000.