NEWARK, N.J. – A Connecticut man was sentenced today to 192 months in prison for his role in a murder for hire scheme in which a New Jersey-based political consultant paid him and another man to kill a longtime associate, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
George Bratsenis, 74, of Monroe, Connecticut, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire. Bratsenis’ conspirators, Sean Caddle and Bomani Africa, previously pleaded guilty to their roles in the murder scheme. Africa was sentenced on Feb. 23, 2023, to 20 years in prison. Caddle is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29, 2023.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In April of 2014, Caddle solicited Bratsenis to commit a murder on Caddle’s behalf in exchange for thousands of dollars. Bratsenis recruited Africa, a longtime accomplice from Philadelphia, to join the plot. After Bratsenis confirmed his and Africa’s interest in the job, Caddle told Bratsenis that the target was a longtime associate who had worked for Caddle on various political campaigns.
On May 22, 2014, Bratsenis and Africa traveled from out of state to the victim’s apartment in Jersey City. After entering the apartment, Bratsenis and Africa stabbed the victim to death and then set fire to the victim’s apartment. After Caddle learned that the victim had been murdered, the following day, he met Bratsenis in the parking lot of a diner in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Caddle paid Bratsenis thousands of dollars in exchange for the murder, and Bratsenis shared a portion of those proceeds with Africa.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Vazquez sentenced Bratsenis to five years of supervised release.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office for its assistance.
The government is represented by Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr. and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Farrell, Chief of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit.