PLYMOUTH, Minn. (KMSP) - A Plymouth, Minn. woman pleaded guilty Monday to defrauding Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company of more than $2 million in life insurance proceeds by falsely claiming her former husband died.
“The FBI and Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS determined that Igor Vorotinov’s death was faked,” said Assistant United States Attorney David J. MacLaughlin.
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 someone who tipped off the FBI and some family photos of a man who should’ve been dead.
According to court documents, in March 2010, Igor Vorotinov purchased a life insurance policy on his own life and listed Irina Vorotinov, 49, as the beneficiary. On October 1, 2011, police in Moldova received a report of a dead body at the entrance of a village. A passport and other documents recovered from the body identified the man as Igor Vorotinov.
Irina flew to Moldova to identify the body, but no pictures of the corpse were ever taken; the body was cremated. A month later, Irina filed a death claim despite the fact that she knew Igor was not dead. Mutual of Omaha paid the claim to Irina with a check for $2,048,414.
“Irina Vorotinov recruited a third party to open an account at a local branch of U.S. Bank and to deposit the insurance check into the account,” stated a press release from U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger’s office. “She then caused the third party to transfer $1.5 million to another account at U.S. Bank in the name of her son, Alkon Vorotinov. Ultimately, Between March 29, 2012 and January 2015, the defendant caused more than $1.5 million of the life insurance proceeds to be transferred to accounts located in Switzerland and Moldova.”
In November 2013, Alkon and his then-fiancee were stopped by customs in Detroit on their way back from Moldova. Acting on a tip, agents searched their computers and found two photos of Alkon's father alive and well.
There's still no word on Igor's whereabouts, and whose ashes those belong to.