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Published On: Wed, Jul 31st, 2019

Moldovan National, Igor Vortotinov Sentenced 41 Months for Faking his Death

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of IGOR VOROTINOV, 55, to 41 months in prison for faking his death in order to collect a $2 million life insurance payment. VOROTINOV, who pleaded guilty on May 3, 2019, was sentenced today before Judge Patrick J. Schiltz in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, in March 2010, IGOR VOROTINOV obtained a $2 million life insurance policy on his own life from Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company (Mutual of Omaha), and designated his wife, IRINA VOROTINOV, as the primary beneficiary.

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According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, on October 1, 2011, the Moldovan police discovered the corpse of an adult male by the side of a road near the Moldovan village of Cojusna. Based upon the dead body and the defendant’s identification documents in its clothing, the Moldovan police and a Moldovan morgue official purported to determine that Igor Vorotinov had died of a heart attack on October 1, 2011. After his purported death, VOROTINOV began using the name “Nikoly Patoka” and lived in Transnistria, a small Russian-controlled region of Moldova, from approximately 2012 until approximately November 2018.

On November 7, 2011, IRINA VOROTINOV submitted a claim for death benefits against the Mutual of Omaha life insurance policy, claiming that VOROTINOV had died in the Republic of Moldova on October 1, 2011. VOROTINOV was aware of his former wife’s filing of the fraudulent death claim, and therefore continued living and doing business as “Nikoly Patoka.” On March 23, 2012, Mutual of Omaha mailed a check payable to IRINA VOROTINOV in the amount of $2,048,414.09 to her home in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

According to documents filed in court, IRINA 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. 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. Between March 29, 2012 and January 2015, more than $1.5 million of the life insurance proceeds were transferred to accounts located in Switzerland and Moldova.

According to documents filed in court, on November 27, 2013, ALKON VOROTINOV was stopped by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Detroit, Michigan upon returning from a trip to Moldova. A computer seized by CBP agents contained digital photographs of IGOR VOROTINOV taken on April 19, 2013 and on May 12, 2013, in which IGOR is alive.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs handled the extradition in this matter.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David J. MacLaughlin and Matthew Ebert prosecuted the case.

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