A Minnesota woman is accused of defrauding an insurance company of $2 million after her ex-husband staged his death, and their son is accused of helping cover up the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced Tuesday that Irina Vorotinov, 48, is charged with mail fraud. Her 25-year-old son, Alkon, is charged with actively concealing the scheme. Both charges are felonies.
The two, who currently live in Plymouth, appeared in federal court Tuesday, according to the news release.
According to the criminal complaint, Vorotinov's ex-husband Igor purchased a $2 million life insurance policy on himself in April 2010 from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co., and named his ex-wife and son as beneficiaries.
In October 2011, police in the eastern European country of Moldova were notified about a dead body found in a small village. Several pieces of identification, including a passport, indicated the dead man was Igor Vorotinov.
The complaint says Irina Vorotinov traveled to Moldova and identified the body as her former husband. The body was cremated in Ukraine, and after she returned to the U.S., she filed a death claim with the insurance company.
Mutual of Omaha sent her a $2 million check in March 2012. Prosecutors allege that between then and now, Vorotinov and her son transferred more than $1.5 million of that money to bank accounts in Switzerland and Moldova.
The scheme began unraveling in June 2013, when an anonymous tipster told an FBI agent that Igor Vorotinov had staged his death and was living in Ukraine under another name, according to the complaint.
A few months later, customs agents at the Detroit airport detained Alkon Vorotinov as he returned from a trip to Moldova, and confiscated his laptop. Investigators found digital photographs of Igor Vorotinov on the computer, taken on April 19, 2013 and May 12, 2013 – and showed he was very much alive.
Prosecutors did not shed any light on the current whereabouts of Igor Vorotinov, or the identity of the dead man found in Moldova.