A Long Island businessman — currently serving a 15-year prison sentence for a wire fraud conviction — is now accused of being involved in a murder-for-hire plot with the help of his former business partner. But the plot thickens — the two targets in the alleged scheme are the federal judge and prosecutor from his fraud case.
According to federal prosecutors, 49-year-old Joseph Romano and his former business partner, 38-year-old Dejvid Mirkovic, began plotting the murders of the unidentified judge and prosecutor in August.
According to a complaint filed by federal prosecutors this morning, a confidential informant told federal authorities that Romano had told him that he wanted to have the judge and prosecutor tortured and killed, and asked if he knew of a hitman who could carry out the murders.
The informant found him two hitmen — unfortunately for Romano, they were actually undercover federal agents.
the next several weeks, Mirkovic — on Romano’s behalf — met with the two undercover agents on
multiple occasions at several locations on Long Island, including with Romano at the
Nassau County Correctional Facility, where he was being held
following his fraud trial.
earn his trust, Romano requested that the two supposed hitmen assault a
man with whom he had a financial dispute. Romano offered the agents
$3,000 for the assault.
The agents never actually assaulted anyone — they staged the assault and provided photos to Romano and Mirkovic.
he felt he could trust the agents, Romano offered them $40,000 to kill
the judge and the prosecutor, according to the complaint.
federal authorities say, gave the two agents $22,000, with the promise
of the remainder of the $40,000 after the murders were carried out.
never happened, though — Mirkovic was arrested this morning in Lake
Worth, Florida. When he was arrested, authorities recovered $18,000 in
cash — the remainder of the fee for the murders — and a loaded 9-mm
Romano, who already is in custody, is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges this afternoon.
If convicted, both men face up to life in prison.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 9, 2012