Three years ago, Igor Vorotinov took a trip back home to a small village in Moldova, where he suddenly had a heart attack. His body was found near a road with his passport and wallet. His wife, Irena, flew to the Eastern European country to identify the body, which was then cremated.
The death was fake, but the federal charges against the Minnesota couple are very real.
ORIGINAL REPORT - Dead body in Moldova, $2M life insurance policy and a Swiss bank account
Igor Vorotinov, 50, and Irina Vorotinov, 47, are charged with insurance fraud and money laundering. Their son, 25-year-old Alkon Vorotinov of Maple Grove, Minn., was previously indicted for his role in the cover-up, and intends to plead guilty next month.
Federal prosecutors said the plot was set in motion 4 years ago, when Igor took out a $2 million insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha. 18 months later, in October 2011, police in Moldova found Igor Vorotinov's passport on a body near the entrance to a small village.
Irina traveled to Moldova and identified the body as her husband, but no photos were ever taken and the body was cremated in Ukraine before she traveled home to Minnesota with the ashes. 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 searched their computers and found something very interesting: two photos of Igor, very much alive, time stamped two years after the alleged death.