Wife Says Man Faked Drowning to Defraud Her

Police said Thursday that Raymond Roth was stopped for speeding in South Carolina after apparently spending time in Florida

By Greg Cergol
|  Friday, Aug 3, 2012  |  Updated 5:31 PM EDT
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Missing L.I. Swimmer Found Alive in South Carolina

Raymond Roth, feared drowned off Jones Beach, is now believed to be alive and well in Florida

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Missing L.I. Swimmer Found Alive in South Carolina

After a five-day search that cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, authorities are now saying a Massapequa man reported missing in the waters off Long Island Saturday may never have even been at the beach. News 4's Greg Cergol reports.
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Evana Roth said she was in the process of planning a funeral for her husband Raymond Roth, who went missing at a New York-area beach on Saturday, when she found e-mails on her step-son's computer indicating her husband was alive.

One of those e-mails provided to the press Friday read: "There needs to be a way for me to find out how things are going. You cannot call from your phone. Go to a pay phone or borrow your friend's phone."

Another said: "I need to get to the bank for cash for the trip. DO NOT allow that a--hole to give the house away."

Evana Roth claims her husband took $10,000 from their bank account, changed his will, had the house transferred to his name and then put it up for sale. She also claims he tripled his life insurance policy before he was reported missing.  

Her husband's intent, Roth said, was to "defraud" her. Her lawyer Leonard Leeds speculated that Roth planned to fake his own drowning death, then have his son and brother collect on his estate and funnel the money to him.

She told reporters she knew nothing about the scheme until she found the e-mails, at which point she went to authorities.  

"I had no knowledge that he would do anything of this sort," said Roth, who described her relationship with her husband of 12 years as being like having a roommate with whom she had little communication.  

Police seized computers from their home after getting a warrant Thursday, Roth said.

She believes that while rescue workers were looking for her husband near Jones Beach on Long Island, he was at a four-bedroom time share in Florida. She said there was no doubt in her mind her step-son Jon was involved in this scheme.

Roth said her husband lost his job earlier this month and had to turn over a licensed handgun to Nassau County, N.Y., police after threatening former co-workers. She added that her husband had gotten rid of his suits and given up his car

"A man who got fired, got desperate perhaps," said Roth of her husband. "No way out, but crime is not a path to follow."

Her husband has been texting and calling her since word surfaced that he was alive, Roth said, sharing a number of the texts with reporters.

A text she recieved Thursday night read: "It didn't work out the way I thought it would. I did it for you."

Friday morning he texted her: "What is going on? Heard you are having a press conference. Be Nice. Almost 15 years together."  

After the press conference, Roth said she received another text from her husband: "Now you're not ever speaking to me again."   

Roth's lawyer said they will seek an order of protection against her husband.

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