A Minnesota man accused of faking his own death to collect a $2 million life insurance policy allegedly put his clothes and ID on a dead body before placing the corpse along a road in Moldova, a judge’s detention order has revealed.
In a hearing in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Igor Vorotinov, 54, was deemed a flight risk and his request to be released from jail ahead of his pending trial was denied.
US Magistrate Judge Katherine M. Menendez said Vorotinov had showed “substantial resourcefulness and cunning” when he faked his own death in Eastern Europe seven years ago, according to the Star-Tribune.
Vorotinov was arrested last month in Moldova and extradited to the United States, three years after being indicted on one count of mail fraud.
He has since pleaded not guilty and is in jail awaiting the start of his trial on January 28.
His ex-wife, Irina Vorotinov, and adult son, Alkon, have both been convicted for their roles in the plot and ordered to repay the money.
Prosecutors allege that Vorotinov took out a life insurance policy in 2010 and named his then-wife as the primary beneficiary. The couple divorced later that year.
In 2011, when a body was found along a roadside in the Moldovan village of Cojusna, Irina Vorotinov traveled to the country, identified the body as her husband, and had the corpse cremated.
She then returned to the US with a death certificate and the cremated remains, and received the life insurance payment, The Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors say the money was then transferred to the couple’s son and into accounts in Switzerland and Moldova which were shared by the Vorotinovs.
An investigation into Vorotinov was launched in 2013 after an FBI agent in Minnesota received a tip that his death may have been staged.
Later that year, his son, Alkon Vorotinov, was stopped by Customs and Border Protection in Detroit when returning from a trip to Moldova. Investigators found photos of his father from that year on his computer, showing that he was still alive.
It still remains unclear who the corpse used in the alleged scheme belonged to.