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Press Release

Murder For Hire Convict Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Allen Gessen Was Convicted Of Soliciting an Undercover Agent to Murder the Estranged Mother of His Children

SAN FRANCISCO –Allen Gessen was sentenced to 120 months in prison for arranging to pay an undercover FBI agent for the murder of the mother of his young children, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The sentence was handed down by the Hon. Jacqueline Scott Corley, U.S. District Judge.

Gessen was convicted of the crime by a jury after a one-week trial before Judge Corley. The evidence at trial established that Gessen, 49, of Massachusetts, was an attorney licensed in New York when he was introduced to an undercover FBI agent by a target of a separate FBI investigation into violations of international money laundering. In the summer of 2022, Gessen met with the undercover FBI agent on two occasions, first in Boca Raton, Florida, and then again in New York City, New York. During the meetings, Gessen volunteered details of a years-long dispute with his former partner which had resulted in contentious child custody proceedings. At these meetings and through a series of encrypted electronic messages, Gessen initiated plans to commit two different crimes utilizing the undercover FBI agent’s connections. The evidence at trial established that over the course of the investigation, Gessen’s objectives quickly transformed from bribing an immigration official to deport his former partner to hiring someone to murder her. Gessen resolved to murder his former partner because it was a “cheaper way to get rid of her” and was a more permanent solution.

The trial evidence established that Gessen wired a total of $23,000 to an FBI undercover bank account in San Francisco to carry out the murder. Around the same time, Gessen also sent to the undercover FBI agent a written agreement containing a promise to pay for phony “consulting services” as a method to disguise the true nature of the funds. Gessen also provided to the undercover FBI agent a target package containing details about his former partner’s whereabouts, schedule, and lifestyle habits.

A federal grand jury indicted Gessen on July 26, 2022, charging him with one count of murder for hire, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958. The jury convicted Gessen of the charge.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Corley also ordered Gessen to serve three years of supervised release to begin after his prison term.

The case is being prosecuted by the Corporate and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The case is a result of an investigation by the FBI.

Updated April 26, 2024