A Massachusetts husband who “complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him” has admitted to trying to hire a contract killer to murder her, federal prosecutors say.
Massimo Marenghi, 56, of Malden, now faces up to a decade in prison after pleading guilty to one count of murder-for-hire, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
In charging documents released by prosecutors, Maranghi met with an undercover FBI agent posing as a contract killer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in January 2021 and “described a ‘situation’ he needs ‘taken care of’ – that is, his ‘soon-to-be” ex-wife.”’
Prosecutors say the agent, who “discussed a price of $10,000,” asked “You want to get rid of her?” to which Marenghi responded, “Yeah, I need to… to eliminate that problem.”
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“I mean, we can make it look like an accident… it is your call,” the agent reportedly continued.
“Yeah, well, I mean obviously that’s the best way,” Marenghi responded, according to the documents.
The attorney’s office said it started investigating the case on New Year’s Day 2021 when “an individual reported to law enforcement that Marenghi had complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him” and that “Marenghi asked the individual for assistance in killing his wife.”
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“At the direction of federal agents, the individual introduced Marenghi to an undercover agent who posed as a contract killer,” the office said in a statement, adding that Marenghi “provided the undercover agent with a photograph of his wife’s residence and explained how to evade detection by cameras while approaching the residence.”
“On Jan. 29, 2021, Marenghi again met with the undercover agent and discussed moving forward with the killing of his wife. Marenghi provided $1,500 cash as a deposit for the murder and explained that the sooner the ‘demolition job’ takes place, the sooner he will be able to pay the balance owed,” the attorney’s office also said.
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“He also provided the undercover agent with a photograph of his wife, the color, model and license plate number of her car, the hours of operation of her place of business and a schedule indicating when he would have custody of his children, which he said would be the ‘best time for the construction work to start,’” it added.
Marenghi is set to be sentenced on June 8.