MINEOLA, NY (WCBS/CNN) - A man pleaded guilty to faking his own death in an effort to collect life insurance money - a plot that involved his son, a search and a beach.
"He was overwhelmed," his lawyer, Brian Davis, said.
The case of the Massapequa dad who police say faked his own drowning came to a conclusion with a conspiracy guilty plea.
Raymond Roth must serve 90 days in jail and pay back the $37,000 it cost to look for him.
The 48-year-old unemployed telecommunications manager was arrested in August after fleeing Jones Beach alive and well, leaving his clothes, wallet and cell phone in the sand.
For days, costly and multiple air, land and sea searches combed the ocean for the presumed victim.
But police said Roth had hatched a plot - drawing up a fraudulent "will" - hoping to make off with $400,000 in insurance benefits, naming his wife Evana and son Jonathan beneficiaries.
It was Jonathan Roth who first reported his father missing.
The hoax soon unraveled, and Jonathan was arrested for lying when he tried to cash in his dad's life insurance policy. Raymond Roth is now accepting responsibility for the scheme.
"He spent two weeks at south Nassau. It wasn't a ruse that I concocted for sympathy, or as a defense. He needed treatment. There was a suicide attempt while he was in there," said Brian Davis, his defense attorney.