In Murder-for-Hire Plot, Malden Man Allegedly Tried to Have Wife Killed

The 54-year-old man is accused of asking for help to “eliminate” his problem and paying a $1,500 cash deposit

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A Massachusetts man has been charged in connection with a murder-for-hire scheme, where he allegedly tried to pay a contract killer to murder his wife, authorities say.

The would-be assassin, however, was actually an undercover federal agent.

The Malden man, Massimo Marenghi, 54, allegedly complained about his wife to an individual who later reported the conversation to authorities, according to a criminal complaint.

Marenghi, who was upset that his wife was seeking a restraining order against him, asked the person for help in killing her.

After learning about the plot, federal agents decided to set up an operation, directing the person to introduce Marenghi to an undercover agent pretending to be a contract killer.

The agent and Marenghi first met on Jan. 20, 2021, where Marenghi asked for help to “eliminate” his problem, showed the agent a photo of his wife and told them how to bypass cameras at his wife’s home, United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a release on Friday, Jan. 29.

At the meeting, which took place in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, they discussed a price of $10,000, according to a report from the Associated Press.

At a second meeting on Friday, Marenghi allegedly paid $1,500 as a cash deposit for the act, and saying he would provide the rest of a payment once the “demolition job” was finished.

He also provided her work hours and the “best time for the construction work to start,” according to the release.

Marenghi was then arrested Friday and charged with alleged murder-for-hire, a charge that calls for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

He was scheduled to appear in Boston federal court by videoconference on Friday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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