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Press Release

Sussex County, New Jersey, Man Sentenced To 210 Months In Prison For Kidnapping And Murder-For-Hire Plot

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newton, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 210 months in prison for planning the kidnapping and murder of a woman he met online, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Christopher Thieme, 36, of Sussex County, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of attempted kidnapping and one count of murder-for-hire. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Thieme admitted that from December 2015 through Jan. 4, 2016, he sought assistance from an associate to kidnap and ultimately murder a woman whom Thieme had previously met through an online dating service. Thieme’s associate alerted law enforcement to Thieme’s plans and cooperated with the investigation into Thieme’s plot.

In early January, at the direction of law enforcement, Thieme’s associate introduced Thieme to an undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman. Thieme explained to the undercover FBI agent that, once the victim was kidnapped, Thieme would empty the victim’s bank accounts and fraudulently sell off her home, the proceeds of which Thieme planned to use to pay for the kidnapping and murder.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Thieme to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $1,034.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing. He also thanked members of the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey State Police, the Newton Police Department, the Paramus Police Department, the Paterson Police Department, the Roxbury Police Department, and the Wayne Police Department for their assistance.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh Hafetz of the U.S. Attorney’s Organized Crime/Gangs Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: Patrick McMahon Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Updated December 19, 2016

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 16-360