Long Island Insurance Fraudster pleads Guilty

Insurance claim professionals have all experienced situations where litigation costs and the risks of trial have necessitated settlements with plaintiffs and claimants who were, lets say, less than 100% credible. Every now and again, its nice to see a fraudulent claimant get his comeuppance.

Richard Roth, a Nassau County resident, tried to collect on a $500,000 life insurance policy by faking his own death. His son reported him missing this past summer, and a massive search began.

As is often said in the world of law enforcement, a detective’s best friend is a dumb criminal, and Roth certainly qualifies. His entire scheme was documented in email correspondence with his son, resulting in recent capture, extradition to New York, and yesterday’s plea in Nassau County Court. He faces 15 years in jail, but will likely receive a lesser jail term, along with probation and restitution to the county.

Interestingly, when asked outside court whether he planned to apologize, Roth replied, “Apologize to who?” First, Mr. Roth, it’s “to whom.” Second, how about apologizing to your neighbors, friends, family as well as strangers – in other words, everyone – whose insurance premiums are all higher than they would otherwise be, because of the costs of investigating fraud perpetrators just like you. Roth may have convinced himself that this was a victimless crime, but insurance fraud affects everyone.

Special thanks to Brian Gibbons for this contribution.

For more information contact Denise Fontana Ricci at dricci@wcmlaw.com.