Mdeath accused of impersonating police officer

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - 7:31pm

The same day he pleaded guilty to conspiracy for faking his own death last summer, a New York man allegedly impersonated a police officer, authorities said.

Raymond Roth, 48, of Massapequa, will be arraigned Thursday on several new charges, said Officer Eric Evensen of the Nassau County Police Department.

Police arrested Roth on Wednesday and released details of a Freeport incident involving a 38-year-old woman.

About 8 p.m. on March 21, the driver of a white and brown minivan yelled at the pedestrian to get into his vehicle. He threatened to arrest her and identified himself as a police officer. The woman ran into a business, followed by the man, who demanded employees open a security door, police said. They refused.

After the man again identified himself as an officer, employees called police and the suspect fled, according to authorities.

Roth was charged with criminal impersonation, attempted kidnapping and attempted burglary, according to police.

A message left for Roth's attorney, Brian Davis, was not immediately returned on Wednesday. Davis last week said his client has been under treatment for bipolar disorder in recent weeks.

The arrest came less than a week after Roth pleaded guilty to conspiracy, prosecutors said.

He was first reported missing in the waters off Jones Beach late last July by his 22-year-old son, Jonathan Roth. Several days into an extensive search involving multiple agencies, New York State Park Police said, authorities learned the missing man was in South Carolina, where he had been pulled over for speeding.

The day before Raymond Roth was pulled over, his wife, Evana, showed authorities e-mails she had discovered that appeared to detail a plan between him and his son to fake his death. Raymond Roth wanted his wife and son to collect at least $410,000 in life insurance benefits while he started a new life in Florida, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said last week.

State police arrested both men in early August on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy and filing a false report. Raymond Roth on Thursday agreed to plead guilty to the conspiracy charge in exchange for a sentence of 90 days in jail and five years' probation, the district attorney's office said. He also must pay restitution for the cost of the search: $27,445 to the U.S. Coast Guard and $9,109 to the Nassau County Police Department.

Evana Roth said in August she thought her husband devised the plan after he was fired from his job in July. Her attorney, Lenard Leeds, said she had been unaware of the ruse before she uncovered the e-mail correspondence.

"There needs to be a way for me to find out how things are going. Call me Sunday night at 8 PM at the resort," Raymond Roth wrote in an e-mail to his son the day before the son reported him missing.

The son's case is still pending, the district attorney said. Jonathan Roth's attorney, Joey Jackson, defended his client after his arrest, saying, "There was abuse here, manipulation here, coercion here" from the father.

Roth's attorney denied in August that his client had involved his son in the scheme.

"We had issues concerning the facts people had whether (Roth) had an agreement with his son," Davis said on March 21. "He's admitted it now. He's accepted responsibility."

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