A Twin Cities woman and her ex-husband were indicted Thursday on suspicion of scheming to cheat an insurance company out of $2 million by faking his death in the family’s homeland of Moldova.
Irina Vorotinov, 47, of Plymouth, and Igor Vorotinov, 50, were charged in federal court with mail fraud and a related count. She also is charged with money laundering.
Their son, Alkon Vorotinov, 25, of Maple Grove, intends to enter a plea March 23 to helping his mother conceal the plot. The allegations against him are contained in an “information,” meaning the defendant intends to plead guilty.
While the mother and son remain free on bond, the last mention of Igor Vorotinov’s whereabouts in court records says he was alive in Ukraine well after his supposed death.
Matt Forsgen, Irina Vorotinov’s attorney, declined to say anything about his client’s case except, “I have a lot of questions for the government.”
According to the case against the Vorotinovs, Igor bought a life insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. in April 2010 and listed Irina and their son as his beneficiaries.
In October 2011, police in Moldova were notified about a body in the bushes at the entrance to the village of Cojusna. A passport, hotel cards and phone numbers identified the man as Igor Vorotinov.
Irina Vorotinov traveled to Moldova, went to a morgue with a U.S. Embassy official and identified the body as her former husband. At her request, the body was cremated in Odessa, Ukraine; she returned to Minnesota with the ashes and filed a death claim on the insurance policy, authorities said.
Mutual of Omaha sent a $2 million check that was deposited in a bank account. The son knew at the time that his father’s death had been a hoax, the documents say. Between March 29, 2012, and January 2015, mother and son transferred more than $1.5 million of insurance proceeds to accounts in Switzerland and Moldova.
A tipster in Moldova told an FBI agent in June 2013 that Igor Vorotinov had staged his death and was living in Ukraine under a new identity, authorities said.
In November 2013, customs agents stopped Alkon Vorotinov in Detroit as he returned from Moldova, and digital photos on his computer dated April and May of 2013 showed his father “very much alive” more than 1 ½ years after his supposed death, a court filing read.