LAS VEGAS – A Florida man was arrested and made his initial court appearance Tuesday in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill a filmmaker and conspiracy to prevent a witness from testifying in his criminal trial.
Fereidoun Khalilian, also known as “Prince Fred” and “Fred,” 51, was charged by indictment with one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and one count of conspiracy to witness tamper. United States Magistrate Judge Elayna Youchah scheduled a trial date for February 5, 2024.
According to allegations contained in the indictment, from about March 16, 2023, to about March 21, 2023, Khalilian left multiple threatening voice messages for a filmmaker in part to stop the filmmaker from producing a documentary about him. Khalilian believed his ongoing business dealings would be undermined if the documentary was made. It is also alleged that, from about January 28, 2023, to about March 17, 2023, Khalilian employed his bodyguard and others to surveil and assault the filmmaker and steal the filmmaker’s documentary equipment. Khalilian then hired his bodyguard to kill the filmmaker in a murder-for-hire plot. The bodyguard resided in Clark County, Nev., and was expected to testify against Khalilian at his murder-for-hire trial in the Central District of California.
Further alleged, from about August 17, 2023, to about September 12, 2023, Khalilian — who was incarcerated pending his trial in California — instructed friends and family to persuade a witness to recant prior statements and to change the witness’ testimony.
If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty is 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000, and a $100 special assessment, for use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; and 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000, and a $100 special assessment, for conspiracy to witness tamper.
United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Jeremiah Levine and Sara Vargas with the Central District of California, and an Assistant United States Attorney with the District of Nevada are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.