A Maple Grove, Minn. woman is accused of devising a plan to receive more than $2 million in life insurance money by claiming her husband died. Now, both the woman and her son are facing serious charges and the man believed to be dead appears to be very much alive.
The federal indictment reads like a screenplay: a dead body in Eastern Europe, a life insurance policy, a Swiss bank account -- and they might have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for a someone who tipped off the FBI and some family photos of a man who should have been dead.
The Vorotinov family lived in a home in a Maple Grove cul-de-sac for 21 years. Neighbors said the family once ran a car dealership, and was every bit the American success story, that is, until four months ago, when the bank suddenly foreclosed.
On Tuesday, the other shoe dropped with a federal indictment charging 48-year-old Irena Vorotinov and her 25-year-old son, Alkon Vorotinov, with insurance fraud.
Federal prosecutors said the plot was set in motion four years ago, when the husband and father, Igor, took out a $2 million insurance policy.
A year later, he left for a trip back home to a small village in Moldova, the former Soviet Republic in the poorest nation in Europe. That's where Igor, only 42-years old, suddenly, and mysteriously, had a heart attack, his body found near a road with his passport and wallet. Irena flew to Moldova to identify the body, but no pictures of the corpse were ever taken. The body was cremated.
Back in the U.S., mother and son collected on the $2 million insurance policy, which they deposited in Swiss and Moldovian bank accounts. Fast forward to Nov. 2013, Alkon Vorotinov and his then-fiancee are returning from Moldova when they're stopped by customs in Detroit. Acting on a tip, federal agents search their computers and make a miraculous discovery: two photos of Alkon's father, Igor, very much alive, and time stamped two years after Igor's alleged death.
Fox 9 stopped by Alkon's apartment in Plymouth, and got his voice mail.
The real mystery remains: Where in the world is Igor, and perhaps more importantly, who was that dead man in Moldova? The true identity of the dead man is probably something that will be left up to the Moldovian authorities. As for Igor, the FBI has a tip he may be living in Ukraine.