A Massachusetts man has been convicted of murder for hire after he arranged to pay an undercover FBI agent to murder the mother of his young children because it was a “cheaper way to get rid of her,” according to authorities.
On May 10, a federal jury handed down the conviction following a one-week trial for 48-year-old Allen Gessen, an attorney licensed in New York.
Evidence at trial showed Gessen was introduced to an undercover FBI agent by a target of a separate FBI investigation into violations of international money laundering.
During the summer of 2022, Gessen met with the undercover FBI agent in both Boca Raton, Florida, and New York City. Gessen volunteered details during these meetings regarding a years-long dispute with his former partner that resulted in contentious child custody proceedings.
At the meetings and through a series of encrypted electronic messages, prosecutors said Gessen initiated plans to commit two different crimes utilizing the undercover FBI agent’s connections.
Evidence showed Gessen believed his former partner’s deportation would allow him to gain full custody of their two minor children. To do this, he initially agreed to pay the undercover FBI agent $100,000 for the bribery and deportation scheme. He explained he would pay more in child support if his former partner remained in the United States.
However, as the meeting went on, Gessen decided to murder his former partner because it was a “cheaper way to get rid of her” and was a more permanent solution.
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Gessen agreed to pay $50,000 to have the murder completed, with him paying a $25,000 deposit and then providing the remaining $25,000 after the murder. He told the undercover FBI agent that he previously looked into a murder-for-hire plot, but it would have cost over $200,000 and he did not go through with it.
The details were finalized in the second meeting and Gessen gave the undercover FBI agent a gold coin worth approximately $2,000. He then wired $23,000 to an FBI undercover bank account in San Francisco to carry out the murder.
Gessen sent a written agreement to the undercover FBI agent containing a promise to pay for phony “consulting services” as a way of disguising the true nature of the funds. He also provided details about his former partner’s whereabouts, schedule and lifestyle habits.
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On July 26, 2022, Gessen was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with one count of murder for hire.
The jury convicted Gessen of that charge, but the judge has not yet set a date for his sentencing hearing, officials said. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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