Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Man Who Faked His Death Accused of Impersonating Police Officer

By Greg Cergol and Ida Siegal
|  Wednesday, Mar 27, 2013  |  Updated 9:58 PM EDT
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Raymond Roth

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L.I. Man Admits to Conspiracy in Faked Drowning

An unemployed man suspected of faking his own drowning at a New York beach to collect on life insurance has pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Greg Cergol reports.

Alleged Fake Death Dad Re-Arrested

Raymond Roth, suspected of faking his own drowning at a Long Island beach to collect on life insurance, has been re-arrested for violating an order of protection by contacting his estranged wife, prosecutors said Thursday. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
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A man who admitted faking his own drowning at Jones Beach to collect on life insurance has been arrested on new charges that he posed as a police officer, officials said.

Raymond Roth last week admitted faking his death in exchange for a 90-day jail sentence, but had not started serving that time.

Police said Roth was arrested Wednesday on charges of impersonating a police officer in Freeport.

Surveillance video released by investigators allegedly shows a man following a woman into a check-cashing store. According to police, after the woman went to a back office area, the man tried to convince her to come out by claiming to be a cop.

He did not show a badge or phony identification, one police official said, but through his "words and actions" portrayed himself as a police officer. 

His attorney, Brian Davis, said Roth would plead not guilty at a scheduled court appearance Thursday.

Last July, Roth's son told authorities that his father went for a swim at Jones Beach and never came back. After the fruitless search, Roth turned up in Florida and South Carolina.

Prosecutors said father and son had conspired to collect on about $400,000 in life insurance.

Davis has said his client pleaded guilty to ensure his son won't go to jail. The case against his 22-year-old son is pending.

Neighbors on Roth's Massapequa block were stunned to hear of the latest accusations against him.

"This guy is lost," said Gloria Gellardi, who thought Roth had been "trying to better himself." 

"It's shocking, it's frightening," she said. "He needs help." 

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