NBC 4 New York
The wife of a Long Island man claims her husband faked his own death for money. On Friday, she shared emails that she says prove the entire alleged scheme. Greg Cergol reports.
The Long Island wife of the man who went missing Saturday after he allegedly went swimming at Jones Beach now says her husband was secretly plotting to make money off his fake death.
Evana Roth said she was in the process of planning a funeral for her husband Raymond Roth when she found e-mails on her stepson's computer indicating her husband was alive.
One of those e-mails, provided to the press Friday, read, "There needs to be a way for me to find out how things are going. You cannot call from your phone. Go to a pay phone or borrow your friend's phone."
Another allegedly said, "I need to get to the bank for cash for the trip. DO NOT allow that a--hole to give the house away."
Evana Roth claimed Friday her husband took $10,000 from their bank account, changed his will, had the house transferred to his name and then put it up for sale. She also claims he tripled his life insurance policy before he was reported missing.
Her husband's intent, Evana Roth said, was to "defraud" her. Her lawyer Leonard Leeds speculated that Raymond Roth planned to fake his death, then have his son and brother collect on his estate and funnel the money to him.
She told reporters she knew nothing about the scheme until she found the e-mails, at which point she went to authorities.
"I had no knowledge that he would do anything of this sort," said Evana Roth, who likened her relationship with her husband of 12 years to having a roommate with whom she had little communication.
Police seized computers from their home after getting a warrant Thursday, Evana Roth said.
She believes that while rescue workers were looking for her husband, he was at a four-bedroom time share in Florida. She said there was no doubt in her mind her stepson Jon was involved in this scheme.
Evana Roth said her husband lost his job earlier this month and had to turn over a licensed handgun to Nassau police after threatening former co-workers. She added that her husband had gotten rid of his suits and given up his car.
"A man who got fired, got desperate perhaps," said Evana Roth of her husband. "No way out, but crime is not a path to follow."
Her husband has been texting and calling her since word surfaced that he was alive, Evana Roth said. She shared a number of the texts with reporters.
A text she recieved Thursday night read, "It didn't work out the way I thought it would. I did it for you."
Friday morning he texted her, "What is going on? Heard you are having a press conference. Be Nice. Almost 15 years together."
After the press conference, Evana Roth said she received another text from her husband. It stated, "Now you're not ever speaking to me again."
Roth's lawyer said they will seek an order of protection against her husband.
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