Lawyer: 'Missing swimmer' Raymond Roth to face fraud, conspiracy charges
Raymond Roth is expected to face fraud and conspiracy charges Wednesday for allegedly faking his own drowning last month at Jones Beach, his lawyer and law enforcement sources said.
Roth, 47, of Massapequa, will reportedly leave the undisclosed Long Island psychiatric hospital where he has been treated for more than a week early this morning and surrender to State Park Police in Babylon.
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Roth's grown son reported July 28 that his father went for a swim at the beach that day and never returned, triggering a massive search.
Roth was presumed drowned until Aug. 1, when the unemployed telecommunications manager got a speeding ticket in Santee, S.C. Police believe he initially fled to Orlando, Fla., where he has a time share at a resort.
Roth's lawyer, Brian Davis of Garden City, said his client will plead not guilty to second-degree insurance fraud, fourth-degree conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and falsely reporting an incident.
Davis said Roth suffers from bipolar disorder and was on a cocktail of medications at the time of the disappearance, causing him to behave erratically.
Roth wasn't interested in cashing in on a life insurance policy as prosecutors allege -- he just wanted to run from financial woes, Davis said.
"The bills became a mountain and this was just his plan for escape," the attorney said. "He was thinking, 'I'll own a tiki bar or live on a fishing boat.' Something like that."
Raymond Roth's son, Jonathan Roth, 22, also of Massapequa, who was charged with helping his father fake the drowning, was released on bail from the Nassau jail early Tuesday. His girlfriend, Kristi Mayleas, posted bail, a correction spokesman said.
Jonathan Roth's attorney, Joey Jackson, said his client's involvement was the result of physical and emotional abuse inflicted by his father.
"This is about three things: coercion, abuse and . . . manipulation," Jackson said.
Davis, however, said Raymond Roth had a close relationship with his son and was not an abusive parent.
"The evidence is just not going to be there," Davis said.
With Kery Murakami