By Danny Fenster
A six-year sentence was handed down to Santa Barbara County, Calif., resident Eugene Darryl Temkin, 51, who solicited an FBI informant posing as a “hitman” to murder several individuals, the FBI announced on Monday.
A judge found Temkin guilty of soliciting a crime in violence, attempting to interfere with interstate commerce by threats and violence, and using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire after a bench trial in August, according to the FBI. The marks for the hitmen included Temkin’s wife, a former business partner of his and a Bel-Air man.
“The evidence showed that defendant engaged in criminal conduct of the worst sort: With meticulous planning and full contemplation, defendant agreed to pay a hitman, ‘Pavel’ [who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer], to brutally kill in cold blood three people, two of whom he barely knew,” prosecutors said in court documents. “What is more, these killings were only to take place after ‘Pavel’ first tortured the victims in order to force them to pay $15 million into defendant’s off-shore bank account.”
A source told law enforcement officials about Temkin’s plans to hire a hitman in late 2009 to kill his former business partner, which began the investigation. Over several months agents posing as professional killers met with Temkin, discussing plans and deals. Temkin told the “hitmen” the former business partner should pay him $15 million in compensation for losses he believes he sustained in a failed business plan to open a casino in Africa.
Temkin even discussed with the undercover agents particular forms of torture, murder and rape which would be likely to get the victims to pay the fees. Temkin had been threatening and harassing the victims for almost a decade before meeting with potential hitmen.