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Massachusetts man charged in murder-for-hire plot involving his wife



BOSTON – A Malden man was arrested Friday and charged in connection with attempting to hire a contract killer – who was actually an undercover federal agent – to murder his wife.

Massimo Marenghi, 54, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of murder-for-hire. Marenghi made an initial appearance in federal court in Boston via videoconference on Friday.

According to a criminal complaint, an individual reported to law enforcement that Marenghi had complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him. Marenghi allegedly asked the individual for assistance in killing his wife. At the direction of federal agents, the individual introduced Marenghi to an undercover agent who posed as a contract killer. On Jan. 20, 2021, Marenghi met with the undercover agent and allegedly sought help to “eliminate” his problem. 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.

It is alleged that earlier Friday, 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. He also allegedly provided the undercover agent with a photograph of his wife, the hours of operation of her place of business and a schedule indicating the “best time for the construction work to start.”

The charging statute provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The Malden Police Department provided valuable assistance with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Deitch of Lelling’s Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

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