Massimo Marenghi pleads guilty to plotting his wife’s murder
A Massachusetts man who thought he was going to hire a hitman to murder his wife but actually spoke to an undercover federal agent has pleaded guilty to murder for hire.
Massimo Marenghi, 56, admitted Thursday that he planned to have his wife killed. He even went so far as to place cash bail with what he believed to be a hitman and advised them on the best way to avoid being seen at the would-be victim’s home. His plot was foiled by someone who initially appeared to be helping Marenghi, a whistleblower identified as a “confidential source” or “CS” in the probable cause affidavit. Marenghi had apparently raised “the issue of his wife’s murder” with CS, who later told authorities he had tried to dissuade Marenghi.
However, a series of text messages on January 1, 2021 convinced CS that Marenghi was serious. According to the affidavit, Marenghi told the source that he was having issues with his wife and that she had applied for a restraining order against him. At that time, Marenghi “again raised the issue of his wife’s murder,” the affidavit said. The whistleblower then apparently told Marenghi what it would take to get the job done.
“CS responded that if MARENGHI was serious about having his wife killed, the cost would be $10,000 in cash,” the affidavit reads. “MARENGHI agreed and provided CS with photos of his wife, information on his wife’s work location and hours, her home address in Malden, a description of her vehicle and her phone number.”
After that conversation, the affidavit states, the confidential source contacted the Northwood Police Department in New Hampshire. Local police contacted the FBI, who questioned CS the next day.
After that, CS agreed to help with the investigation into Marenghi. Days later, on January 13, 2021, under FBI direction, CS Marenghi gave the name and contact information for someone Marenghi believed “could be hired to murder his wife, but who is actually an undercover FBI.” agent would be,” the affidavit said.
More from Law&Crime: Woman jailed for 15 years for paying a hidden $5,000 ‘down payment’ to kill her husband in a hit-and-run job.
The confidential source also told Marenghi what scrambled words to use to convey his request, “specifically, that MARENGHI identify the person as ‘Mrs. Smith,” admitting himself as someone named “Boston,” inquiring about the “construction job,” the affidavit reads.
Marenghi contacted the undercover agent, referred to as “UC” in the affidavit, that same day by calling the number provided by CS and using the code words. This call was recorded.
“Using coded language, the undercover agent stated that the job required ‘blueprints,’ ‘images of site,’ ‘when work could begin,’ and a ‘preliminary invoice,'” the affidavit reads. Marenghi and the undercover agent set up a face-to-face meeting for January 20, 2021, about a week later.
The affidavit describes what happened during that meeting:
During the meeting, MARENGHI described a “situation” that he “needs to be taken care of” – that is, his “future” ex-wife. UC asked, “Do you want to get rid of them?” to which MARENGHI replied, “Yes, I have to…to fix this problem.” UC stated, “I mean, we can make it look like an accident…it’s your choice. MARENGHI replied, “Yes, well, I mean, that’s obviously the best way.” At one point, MARENGHI said, “Well, I just need her out of the way now.” UC replied, “Okay, that’s… that’s totally.” different. You either want her killed or you don’t.” MARENGHI said, “Um, I have to – I have to fix the problem.”
Marenghi told the undercover agent that he might need some time to “release some assets” to match the $10,000 asking price. He also provided UC with a picture of his wife’s residents and explained how a contract killing could be carried out, documents show.
“MARENGHI detailed the location of the camera outside his wife’s house and described how someone could stand behind the barrels at the end of the driveway so that the person would be hidden from all cameras and out of his wife’s sight,” the affidavit reads says. “MARENGHI has also provided a possible escape route that is likely to evade detection.”
During a meeting nine days later, Marenghi gave UC $1,500 in cash as bail for the murder, the affidavit said, apparently adding that the earlier the “demolition job” happened, the sooner he could pay the balance.
Marenghi was charged the following month.
Marenghi could face 10 years in prison and possible fines. US District Judge Allison D. Burroughs has scheduled sentencing for June 8.
Read the probable cause affidavit here.
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https://lawandcrime.com/crime/eliminate-the-problem-man-busted-by-undercover-fbi-agent-admits-to-murder-for-hire-plot-targeting-wife/ Massimo Marenghi pleads guilty to plotting his wife’s murder