A Levittown man has been found guilty of conspiring to kill a federal prosecutor who convicted him for fraud and a federal judge who sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
A jury found Joseph Romano guilty Thursday of conspiracy at Central Islip federal court.
Prosecutors said the 51-year-old agreed to pay an pair of undercover police officers, who the suspect thought were hit men, $40,000 to kill the judge and prosecutor while Romano was at Nassau County jail in August 2012.
“A threat against a member of the criminal justice system, such as a Judge or an attorney, is nothing less than an attempt to subvert the system, and as such will not be tolerated,” U.S. William Attorney Hochul, Jr. said in a statement.
Romano’s co-conspirator, Dejvid Mirkovic, was sentenced in August to 24 years in prison after he pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to murder.
The two men repeatedly met with the pair of undercover investigators posing as hit men to make initial payments and plot out assaults, and then the murders, authorities said. One of the officers showed a staged photo of an assault as proof to ensure payment for the first phase.
Romano, who was angry over being convicted of an eight-year, multi-million-dollar fraud involving the telemarketing of coins, also requested that the hit man cut off the heads of the judge and prosecutor in exchange for a “bonus,” according to prosecutors.
The investigators said they received a $22,000 down payment and would get the $18,000 after the targets were dead. Upon their October 2012 arrest, Romano and Mirkovic were found to have $18,000 cash and a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun at Mirkovic’s house in Florida.
Romano faces up to life in prison, up to $500,000 in fines and forfeiture of more than $200,000 when he is sentenced in March.