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Convict accused in murder-for-hire plot

An undated file photo of Aaron Hand in

An undated file photo of Aaron Hand in court. Photo Credit: Mariela Lombard/ POOL

A Long Island man imprisoned on mortgage fraud charges was accused Thursday of trying to arrange a murder-for-hire of a witness whose testimony helped exposed his scheme in 2010.

Former Oyster Bay Cove resident Aaron Hand, 39, imprisoned at Coxsackie State Prison, offered an undercover officer posing as a hit man $2,000 in the murder-for-hire plot, according to charges filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

"I wish I was there to see his ---- face," Hand allegedly told the undercover in a prison visiting room after laying out a plan for a home invasion and shooting. "To watch him suffer."

Hand was convicted after a nine-week trial in July 2010 of masterminding a $100 million mortgage fraud scheme out of a Garden City office. Three co-defendants were also convicted. Twenty other defendants pleaded guilty, with several testifying against Hand and cooperating.

The Manhattan district attorney's office did not identify the witness allegedly targeted by Hand, who pleaded not guilty to the new charges. His lawyer said he was entrapped.

Prosecutors said the first tip about Hand's plans came in August, and he described his alleged motive in a secretly taped meeting with the undercover that month: "You don't get a free pass in life when you put away 30 ---- people. C'mon. And you walk? . . . You're out of your ---- mind."

Hand allegedly said he wanted no witnesses, and the target's wife and two children killed if the hit occurred in his home, urging the undercover to dispose of any body. "No body, no crime, you know."

He allegedly provided a detailed scenario for the killing, suggesting that a hit squad could block the driveway to prevent escaped, and then: "Rush the back and pop, and pop right through the back door. Boom. Lights are shattered . . . rush in, boom, boom, boom . . . Just hit the road. No samples . . . no DNA; wear gloves, wear something over your head. You know, no trace of nothing."

Prosecutor Peirce Moser said Hand raised money from his parents to pay for the killing by telling them that he needed to bribe a guard to avoid punishment, and arranging for an associate to pick up $150 in a meeting at Exit 58 of the LIE.

At a second meeting with the undercover, he was told the target was commuting to Brooklyn. Hand allegedly agreed to have the killing occur there, and suggested the purported hit man leave a gang symbol on the target's car to fool police.

Hand is serving 8 1/3 to 25 years on the 2010 mortgage conviction. He faces up to life in prison if convicted on charges of attempted murder and murder conspiracy.

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