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The man who failed to fake his own death last month by pretending to drown off the shores of Long Island has been arrested…finally.
Attorney Brian Davis also told the Voice that despite his fragile mental state, Roth would turn himself into police this week, which happened this morning
Roth is facing charges for an alleged insurance fraud scam stemming from the faux-drowning, although the exact charges have not been announced.
A few days after his son, Jonathan Roth, reported to authorities that he’d seen his father go into the ocean at Jones Beach and never come out, Roth turned up in South Carolina — and that was only after spending a few days at a resort in Florida, all as investigators were scouring the ocean in a rescue effort that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.
Roth’s wife also found emails he’d exchanged with his son detailing the phony drowning plan.
Once the jig was up, Roth repeatedly told police that he’d turn himself in. However, that never happened — Roth remained on the lam until checking himself into a Long Island mental health facility last week.
We asked Davis if checking himself into a psych center was just the alleged fraudster’s attempt to setup some sort of insanity defense for a potential trial. He says his client’s mental state is fragile, as evident from his harebrained attempt to fake his own death.
“He took his own car [after claiming to drown],” Davis says. “[An insanity] defense is only used in very extreme cases. He wasn’t thinking rationally throughout all of this.”
Jonathan Roth was arraigned last week on charges of insurance fraud, conspiracy and falsely reporting an incident.
According to an affidated filed 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.”
Davis says Roth will plead not guilty to the charges. He will be arraigned later today.