Minnesota man pleads guilty to faking death for insurance

Published 5:13 pm Monday, May 6, 2019

ST. PAUL — A Minnesota man accused of faking his own death eight years ago in Eastern Europe to collect a $2 million life insurance policy has pleaded guilty.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that 54-year-old Igor Vorotinov, formerly of Maple Grove, is to be sentenced for mail fraud on July 29 in U.S. District Court.

Authorities alleged Vorotinov in 2011 arranged for a corpse to be dressed in his clothes and planted his identification on the body before placing it along a road in the former Soviet republic of Moldova. An insurance company sent his ex-wife a $2 million check in 2012.

Email newsletter signup

The couple divorced in 2010, a few months after Vorotinov took out a life insurance policy and designated his then-wife as the primary beneficiary. Irina Vorotinov in 2011 identified a corpse in Moldova as her husband’s, then returned to the U.S. with a death certificate and cremated remains and received the life insurance payment from Mutual of Omaha. Money was then transferred to her son and to accounts in Switzerland and Moldova, authorities said.

The scheme also included a 2011 funeral service at a Minneapolis cemetery, where an urn was placed in a niche. Tests later determined the remains were not Vorotinov’s. It’s not clear whose they were.

Irina Vorotinov pleaded guilty in 2016 to fraud charges and was sentenced to about three years in prison.

Son Alkon Vorotinov was sentenced in 2015 to three years of probation for his involvement.

Igor Vorotinov was indicted in 2015. He was arrested in November 2018 and returned to the U.S. after an unidentified tipster contacted the FBI. He had been living in Transnistria, a small Russian-controlled region of Moldova, under a new name, Nikoly Patoka.