WOODBURY - A Levittown man is accused of attempting to hire a hit man from behind bars to kill a federal judge and an assistant U.S. Attorney.
Prosecutors say Joseph Romano tried to hire undercover FBI agents to take out the judge and the prosecutor who handled the fraud case that landed him in jail. They say he offered $40,000 for the murders and handed over a $22,000 down payment.
Romano was already serving a 15-year sentence for scamming people out of millions of dollars over collectable coins.
Back in August, authorities say an informant told police about Romano's alleged plan to torture and murder the judge and the prosecutor, prompting investigators to pose as hit men. Romano also allegedly wanted the judge and prosecutors heads as keepsakes.
Prosecutors say they have overwhelming evidence against Romano in the murder-for-hire plot, including audio and video recordings.
Romano pleaded not guilty to the new charges yesterday. An alleged co-conspirator, Dejvid Mirkovic, is also charged in the plot. They both face life in prison if convicted.