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First, he committed a multi-million dollar fraud involving the telemarketing of coins. Then, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for that financial fraud.
Now, he has been convicted of conspiring to murder the Assistant U.S. Attorney who prosecuted him, and the U.S. District Court Judge who sentenced him.
As a result, Joseph Romano, of Levittown, New York, faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, in addition to forfeiture of more than $200,000 when he is sentenced in March.
According to the government’s trial evidence, Romano agreed to pay $40,000 to an undercover police officer, whom he thought was a hitman, to kill the federal judge and prosecutor. Romano also requested that the hitman cut off their heads in exchange for a “bonus.” Law enforcement authorities learned of the plot in August 2012 from another inmate at the Nassau County Correctional Center where Romano was being held. During the subsequent investigation, two undercover law enforcement officers, posing as hitmen, met with Romano and co-conspirator Dejvid Mirkovic numerous times at locations on Long Island, including the Correctional Center.
At the first meeting, Romano offered to pay one of the undercover officers $3,000 to assault an individual with whom he had a financial dispute. Co-conspirator Mirkovic then met with one of the undercover officers and paid him $1,500 as a down payment for the assault. After one of the undercover officers showed proof of the purported assault of the intended victim—in fact, a staged photograph and an identification card—Mirkovic paid the undercover officer the $1,500 balance.
Later that same day, Mirkovic again met with the undercover officer, relayed Romano’s instructions to murder the federal judge and prosecutor, and offered $40,000 for the commission of the two murders. In addition, Mirkovic indicated that Romano wanted the federal judge and prosecutor beheaded and the body of the prosecutor mutilated and that he was willing to pay extra for those services. Over the following weeks, the undercover officer received $22,000 in cash down payments for the murders and was promised payment of the final $18,000 when the murders were completed.
At the time of the arrests of Romano and Mirkovic on October 9, 2012, law enforcement officers recovered $18,000 in cash and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun at Mirkovic’s residence in Lake Worth, Florida.
In March 2013, Mirkovic pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder and was sentenced to 24 years in prison in August 2013.
Learn more: Financial Fraud Convict Charged With Conspiracy To Kill Judge; 24 Years in Prison for Man Who Conspired to Kill US Judge and Prosecutor in Financial Fraud Case.
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