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Man Sentenced for Faking Death in Europe to Get Major Life Insurance Payout


Remember Igor Vorotinov? This criminal defendant pleaded guilty back in May to faking his death in an international scheme to get life insurance money. He was sentenced on Monday in a Minnesota federal court for a single count of mail fraud.

Records show he will spend three years and five months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He has been ordered to pay $2,048,414.09 in restitution, for the total amount of the life insurance payout.

According to a criminal complaint, Moldavian cops said they got an emergency call on October 1, 2011 about a dead body at the entrance to the Cojusna village. The responding officer said that he found it off the side of the road between two bushes. He determined no violence had been done to it. Documents on the body were used to identify the corpse as Vorotinov’s. These were a passport, hotel cards, and contact number numbers, said the complaint.

The responding officer claimed he didn’t have a camera, so no pictures of the corpse were taken. The body was described in the complaint as “badly putrefied,” and Vorotinov’s wife Irina Vorotinov, a cousin, and a representative of the United States Embassy went to “view/identify” him. She asked the morgue to cremate the body, returned to her Minnesota home, and later received $2,048,414.09 for her husband’s apparent death.

Igor was alive this entire time, however. He started using the name “Nikoly Patoka,” and lived out in the Moldovan region of Transnistria.

Authorities credit a tipster with letting them know about the scheme. Investigators also apprehended Igor Vorotinov’s wife, and their son Alkon Vorotinov. They also pleaded guilty and were sentenced in their criminal cases.

[Mugshot via Sherburne County Jail]

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