2 indicted in alleged plot against judge, prosecutor
Two men were indicted Thursday on charges of conspiracy to murder a Long Island federal judge and prosecutor, according to officials.
Joseph Romano, 49, of Levittown, and Dejvid Mirkovic, 38, of Lake Worth, Fla., were arrested by FBI agents in October and accused of plotting to kill Judge Joseph Bianco and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lara Treinis Gatz.
Romano was sentenced to 15 years in prison in February by Bianco for operating what the judge called "a massive fraud motivated by pure greed."
Treinis Gatz prosecuted the case in which Romano was charged with running a collectible-coin fraud in which 1,500 victims, most of them elderly, were cheated out of $40 million. The victims were sold supposedly rare coins at vastly inflated values, according to officials.
Officials have said that Romano has admitted that he hired two undercover police officers, who he thought were hit men, for $40,000 to kill the two officials.
Mirkovic, a longtime business associate of Romano's, allegedly helped in the scheme, officials said.
In addition to plotting to kill the judge and prosecutor, Romano supposedly told one of the purported hit men that "the heads of both the judge and the Gatz be preserved in formaldehyde as souvenirs," an FBI arrest warrant said.
The warrant added that Romano said he was "willing to pay extra for the 'souvenirs' " if the hit men kept them until Romano got out of prison.
In another part of the alleged plot, Romano first tested the hit men by asking them to beat up an unidentified man with whom he had a business dispute, according to officials.
The unidentified man agreed to cooperate with investigators and staged photographs of the supposed beating to show Romano, according to court papers.
Attorneys for Romano and Mirkovic could not be reached for comment.
Romano's attorney, Joseph Kilada, has previously declined to comment.
Romano and Mirkovic face up to life in prison if convicted.
No date has been set for arraignment on the charges.