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Press Release

Malden Man Pleads Guilty to Trying to Hire Contract Killer to Murder His Wife

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Malden man pleaded guilty today to attempting to hire a contract killer – who was actually an undercover federal agent – to murder his wife. 
Massimo Marenghi, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of murder-for-hire. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for June 8, 2023. Marenghi was arrested and charged by criminal complaint in January 2021 and subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2021.

On Jan. 1, 2021, an individual reported to law enforcement that Marenghi had complained about his wife seeking a restraining order against him. Marenghi asked the individual for assistance in killing his wife. At the direction of federal agents, the individual introduced Marenghi to an undercover agent who posed as a contract killer. On Jan. 20, 2021, Marenghi met with the undercover agent and sought help to “eliminate” his problem. Marenghi provided the undercover agent with a photograph of his wife’s residence and explained how to evade detection by cameras while approaching the residence.

On Jan. 29, 2021, Marenghi again met with the undercover agent and discussed moving forward with the killing of his wife. Marenghi provided $1,500 cash as a deposit for the murder and explained that the sooner the “demolition job” takes place, the sooner he will be able to pay the balance owed. He also provided the undercover agent with a photograph of his wife, the color, model and license plate number of her car, the hours of operation of her place of business and a schedule indicating when he would have custody of his children, which he said would be the “best time for the construction work to start.”

The charge of murder-for-hire, in a case in which neither personal injury nor death results, provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. The Malden Police Department provided valuable assistance with the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Deitch of Rollins’ Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 16, 2023