The Not-So-Merry-Widow: Long Beach Woman Accuses Husband Of Faking Death

There is an unusual case in Long Island where Evana Roth, 43, has gone public with an accusation that her husband Raymond Roth not only faked his own drowning but has sent her angry emails from his would be grave.

Raymond is a 47-year-old unemployed communications-company manager who disappeared on July 28 off Long Island. On August 2, an officer pulled over Raymond in South Carolina for speeding after he’d spent time in a resort in Orlando, Fla.

It was Raymond’s son Jonathan who told his mother that Raymond disappeared and Evana says that she found messages on Jonathan’s computer discussing the planned disappearance. The computers of both men have been seized by police. Jonathan however says that his father has now threatened his life.

Evana says that her husband was spotted driving in the neighborhood and sent her an email that said “[t]he place looks a little crowded. I just drove by. Call me later.” She says that her husband called her from a bar in North Carolina and she allowed police to listen in on calls when Raymond said things like “It didn’t work out as I thought it would. I did it for you.”

He then reportedly got angry after she went public with such messages as “I just heard u have a press conference. Be nice. Almost 15 years together.” The problem is that they were married for 12 years not 15 years. It is always a good idea to get the length of your marriage right if you are trying to get her into a conspiracy and, if you are going to get it wrong, you might not want to say it felt longer than it is. It is also not a good idea to send your son an email saying “DO NOT allow that a–hole to give the house away.”

Evana says that Raymond drained their account of all but $7. However, the articles do not include any reference to an attempt to defraud or file insurance claims. Absent some fraudulent benefit, it is hard to see the crime. He can argue that he was entitled to access and use joint accounts. This certainly makes for the world’s worst Thanksgiving dinner but not necessarily a crime.

We recently discussed the attempt of Congress to criminalize lies without such conventional benefits or fraud in the controversy over the Stolen Valor Act. The Court struck down the law. I have been a critic of attempts to criminalize such lies as a threat to free speech. (here and here) Absent some fraud such as death benefits, this may be a case of simple lying.

What do you think?

Source: NY Postt

16 thoughts on “The Not-So-Merry-Widow: Long Beach Woman Accuses Husband Of Faking Death”

  1. Anonymously Yours 1, August 6, 2012 at 3:49 pm


    Why can’t a person just disappear without having it be done for illegal or immoral purposes…… Couldn’t he just want to get away from a raging wife……
    Ask Mitt Romney, or Sarah Palin. Where are your tax returns?

  2. parink, lol. Congress would be laughed out of DC. hmmmm, wonder if we could get them to do that?

  3. Darren,

    Did you read the story….. I saw no mention of minor children….this is the year 2012….. The law(s) you quote are still valid in some states….. But rarely enforced….. Plus we are in long island….. Not exactly your bastillion of rigid orthodoxy…. In the marital department…..

    I bet the wife was a raging lunatic and once the supporter lost his job….. She made life a living he’ll for him….. I suppose by definition….. A divorce constitutes abandoning in some fashion….. Just not criminally enforced today…. Civilly maybe a different outcome…..

  4. Anonymously Yours Contributed:
    “Why can’t a person just disappear without having it be done for illegal or immoral purposes…… Couldn’t he just want to get away from a raging wife……”

    My opinion of this is that aside from the person who simply just wants to move away and start a new life and is not subject to any contractual or legal requirements he/she has that ability. What we seem to have in this case is a person who not only ducked legal responsibility, but it was done under false pretenses as what I see as evidenced by the false drowning claim.

    You would be correct if it had only been a person who just wanted to get away but it seems not to be the case here.

    Let’s look a historical record. Prior to around 1909, abandonining a wife and children in Washington state was a felony. Legal framework has a historical precedent in responsibility of a parent to children especially and a spouse. We also see this in wage garnishment and arrest warrants issued to parents who fail to make child support. A person who absconds from parental responsibility generally must face consequences. This in itself might support the criminal charge against the husband in this case.

    When the parent / husband entered into a marriage they did take a legal responsibility to maintain the marriage. When he chose to father a child, who is certainly unable at at least an early age to cair for herself, he then relengquishes his right to “walk away.”

  5. Nick, right, then there’s the taking all the assets thing. There are two ways to get rid of a spouse, murder or divorce, she might not have been thinking of either of them before but now…

  6. Anonymously Yours, The answer is “yes.” However, he didn’t just go out for a pack of smokes and not return. This bozo tried to make it look like he drowned. Now, can we deal w/ your issues and baggage vis a vis “nagging” or “raging” wives.

  7. Darren,

    Why can’t a person just disappear without having it be done for illegal or immoral purposes…… Couldn’t he just want to get away from a raging wife……

  8. junctionshamus, I worked @ USP Leavenworth. I heard stories from the Army Disciplinary Barracks just down the road that would make your hair curl. Most people think both facilities are one in the same.

  9. Moreover, if we take Securities Fraud as an example, one element of an insider trading violation or general securities fraud involves “Loss Avoidance” where the unlawful trade or insider information resulted in the ability of the accused to minimize a loss due to the fraudulent transaction. Where the person benefits in the lessening of the loss. The same could be said for “Loss Avoidance” in this thread.

  10. I do not have the particulars of this case but I can imagine in a case of this nature it would involve more than just criminalizing lies or subterfuge due to the nature of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage.

    A person feigning death would receive the following “benefits”:

    1) Elimination of child support obligations
    2) Dodging responsibility for selective service
    3) Loss of being claimed as a dependant from federal and state income tax
    4) Relief from contract obligations
    5) Relief from judgements
    6) Relief from alimony or maintenance
    7) Assignment of debt obligations to another or generate a write off
    8) Denial of medical benefit coverages from a spouse’s medical plan
    9) Estate issues
    10) Child custody issues
    11) Tax liabilities

    Dodging the above under false pretenses certainly could be articulated as an element of a fraud case, in at least an unlawful conversion of money.

    Moreover, one could argue a tort for intentional infliction of emotional duress. According to what I have read about psychological tests, the highest ranked indicator of stress in a person’s life is the death of a spouse. Clearly it is obvioius such a death is a horrible affair. I would think at least it could be argued that faking a death could cause such damage to a spouse and be a tort if designed to cause this injury. Certainly this would be a factor in a future divorce hearing.

  11. He figured his wife would nix the idea of him taking all their funds so he could take a vacation on his own. One of those “easier to apologize later than ask for permission (and get turned down) now” things.

  12. Wait… Guy disappears…. What’s the crime unless they are trying to file an insurance claim of some sort… People disappear all the time for various reasons….. Could depression be in the mix…..47, unemployed….. Life changing events….. Probably married to a real nag……

  13. Having worked more insurance fraud cases over 3 decades than I can count, this is almost certainly a fraud scheme.

    My first investigator job was as a criminal investigator for the prosecutor’s office in Jackson County, Mo. back in the 70’s. My boss was a tough, smart woman. A criminal defense attorney was sitting down w/ us discussing an armed robbery. When we got to a specific detail the defense attorney blurted, “My client would have to be incredibly stupid to have done that.” My boss calmly replied, “Counselor, thankfully we’re not required to prove your client’s intelligence or lack thereof, we just need to prove he’s guilty.” This stupid husband from NY made me think of my old boss.

  14. This is one scummy individual, but I do not see a crime unless there was a police or fire search for him. She should be happy that she if free of this mental giant.

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