News & Politics

Raymond Roth, Drowning Hoaxster, Throws Own Son Under The Bus, Blames Faking Death On Anti-Smoking Drug


Failing to fake his own death wasn’t a scam to cash in on an insurance policy, it was a reaction to anti-smoking medication.

That’s the gist of what the lawyer for drowning hoaxster Raymond Roth said today after his client finally was taken into custody.

And remember last week when Roth attorney Brian Davis told the Voice that his client wasn’t setting up an insanity defense by checking into a psychiatric center as he evaded police for nearly two weeks? Well, that, it seems, was bullshit.

Davis was happy to take our call last week, after Roth checked himself into the nut house. Today: not so much — his office basically told us to go fuck ourselves before putting us on hold for 10 minutes.

Davis spoke with the New York Post, though, and — in addition to pinning the blame for Roth’s behavior on the anti-smoking drug Chantix — says the following: “He was bipolar–which had not been diagnosed, and he was in a manic
stage [when he ran away]. It may not amount to a
defense in the law, but it’s certainly a defense of his behavior. His
efforts to disappear and block out his trail were laughable. It was the
action of someone acting impulsively.”

Additionally, Roth apparently is throwing his own son under the bus in terms of the insurance scam.

From the Post:

His son was arrested last week. According to court documents, the pair conspired to get more than $50,000 in life insurance money.

But Davis said his client was not aware of an insurance scam, blaming Jonathan Roth.

“Insurance had nothing to do with this,” Davis said. “If the son did make the claim…it was his own doing — it was his idea.”

“[Raymond] was astounded that his son made an insurance claim,” Davis added. “He was running away from a bad situation.”

Chantix aside, Roth was arrested this morning, and will be arraigned later today on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsely reporting an incident.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 15, 2012

Archive Highlights