No bail for son of NY man who aided drowning scam

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - A suburban New York man who helped his father fake his own drowning at Jones Beach in a life insurance scam was back in court after being captured in Ohio by a bail bonds company _ the latest in a saga in which both men have repeatedly found themselves in handcuffs.

Jonathan Roth, 23, of Massapequa, was apprehended on an arrest warrant for missing his scheduled sentencing in the insurance scheme. A judge, citing other pending arrest warrants, ordered him held without bail Friday.

Roth had been expected to receive no jail time after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges because he cooperated in the insurance case against his father. He told reporters while being taken to the Nassau County jail that he had no money to afford the trip back from Ohio for the scheduled proceeding on Sept. 20.

A bail bonds company that posted $10,000 for his release in the insurance case found him Thursday living in Groveport, Ohio. It was not clear why Roth had been living there.

Prosecutors have made no decision on whether that previous agreement will stand, a spokesman said.

"I don't think there was any intent to leave and not be detected," defense attorney Joey Jackson said. "We had a deal in the works with the prosecutor."

Roth is also wanted for an incident on Sept. 2, in which he allegedly called a former girlfriend 150 times, in violation of an order of protection. That order was issued in January after police said he jumped on the woman's car and banged on her windshield, according to a spokesman for the Suffolk County district attorney.

The spokesman said there also were complaints of harassment by the woman against Jonathan Roth in March and September 2012. He was not sure when Roth would appear before a Suffolk judge in that case.

Roth's father, Raymond, 48, became the focus of a nationwide manhunt in 2012 when his son reported his father drowned while swimming in the Atlantic Ocean off Jones Beach. The elder Roth was later spotted in Florida and South Carolina before eventually returning to New York, where he surrendered.

An attorney said his client was suffering emotional problems and was later admitted to a hospital for psychiatric treatment.

In March, Raymond Roth accepted a plea deal, admitting to fourth-degree conspiracy. Prosecutors said he and his son plotted to collect about $400,000 in life insurance. During that proceeding, the elder Roth was promised a 90-day sentence and agreed to pay $37,000 to defray the costs incurred during a search for the purported drowning victim.

Hours later, Roth was arrested again after police say he allegedly approached a woman in Freeport and identified himself as a police officer. He now faces up to 15 years on kidnapping charges.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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