News & Politics

Raymond Roth, Jones Beach Drowning Hoaxster, “Involuntarily” In Long Island Nut House


Jones Beach drowning hoaxster Raymond Roth has reportedly been found after evading police for nearly a week — and he’s been found at a Long Island psych center, where he’s reportedly been committed.

Roth has been “missing” since he failed to fake his own death on July 28, when his son, 22-year-old Jonathan Roth, told police that his old man went into the ocean at Jones Beach and never came out. The report prompted a pricey rescue effort, which went on for about four days.

On Thursday, authorities found Roth…speeding down a highway in South Carolina, not at the bottom of the ocean. The drowning scam was allegedly an attempt to cash in on a life insurance policy.

Once the jig was up, Roth told police he’d meet with them once he returned to New York. As of yesterday, he was yet to contact authorities.

Today, however, CBS’ New York affiliate is reporting that “sources” say the alleged insurance hoaxster has been “involuntarily” committed to a Long Island mental hospital. The affiliate doesn’t specify which hospital, and we were unable to independently confirm that Roth actually has been committed.

While Raymond Roth has not yet been charged with any crimes in the alleged insurance scam — again, because he’s been on the lam for the past week — his son isn’t so lucky.

Jonathan Roth was arraigned yesterday on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident.

According to an affidated filed yesterday by the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, “[Jonathan Roth] stated … that he saw his father walk into the ocean
and walk in chest high. The defendant was present when a massive search of the waters and area was conducted.”

Prosecutors added that “The defendant at all times was fully aware that his father never walked into the water and had in fact driven off in his personal vehicle.”

Jonathan Roth is being held on $10,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 8, 2012

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