Federal authorities say a Massachusetts man who attempted to hire a hitman to murder his wife actually reached out to an undercover FBI agent with his deadly request.
According to reports, 56-year-old Massimo Marenghi contacted an individual he believed to be a contract killer in January 2021 and offered a $10,000 payment to “eliminate” the would-be victim of his deadly plot. Prosecutors say he later provided the federal agent with a $1,500 deposit on the job.
Massimo Marenghi, of Malden, MA, admitted today to attempting to hire a contract killer, who was actually an undercover #FBI agent, to murder his wife, following an investigation by FBI Boston's Violent Crimes Task Force. https://t.co/lUc4KDTymk
— FBI Boston (@FBIBoston) March 16, 2023
A Department of Justice press release indicates he also gave the agent a custody schedule in an apparent effort to avoid conducting what he called “construction work” while the couple’s children were with her.
Marenghi reportedly “complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him” and provided a variety of pertinent information to the other individual — including a photograph of his wife, her work schedule, a description of her vehicle, and details about how to bypass the home’s security system.
Referring to the hit as a “demolition job,” Marenghi reportedly pressed for expedited service, telling the agent that he would receive the remainder of the money after the deed was done.
He pleaded guilty on Thursday to a criminal count related to the murder-for-hire scheme, which carries a possible prison sentence of 10 years followed by supervised release for three more years and a $250,000 fine.
A sentencing hearing has been set for June.
Fortunately for Marenghi’s estranged wife, this plot was foiled from the beginning. Similar scenarios have played out in other cases — including one involving another Massachusetts man charged with a similar crime earlier this year.
Authorities reported that Boston resident Mohammed Chowdhury, 46, met with an undercover agent he believed to be a contract killer in hopes of hiring the individual to kill his wife and her boyfriend.
“Chowdhury allegedly provided the undercover agents with photographs of his wife and her new boyfriend, where they lived, where they worked and their work schedules,” the Justice Department reported. “It is alleged that Chowdhury ultimately agreed to pay $4,000 per murder, with a deposit of $500.”
He was arrested in January and charged with one count of murder-for-hire.