A Florida man has been convicted of hiring a hit man to murder an Internal Revenue Service employee who was auditing his taxes.
The hit man was actually an undercover FBI agent, who called himself "Reaper," and was posing as a member of a motorcycle gang. The 6-foot, 4-inch agent wore a goatee and claimed to be a member of the Outlaws gang. Construction company owner Randy Nowak, 49, of Mulberry, Fla., paid the undercover agent $10,000 and planned to pay another $10,000 after the IRS agent, Christine Brandt, was eliminated. Nowak was reportedly concerned that Brandt would uncover money he had in foriegn bank accounts. He was arrested last summer (see Man Arrested in Attempted Murder of IRS Agent).
Nowak's attorney argued that his client was actually afraid of the biker and that a friend had gotten him unwittingly involved in the plot. His lawyer pointed to a number of phone calls between Nowak and his friend, who secretly alerted the authorities to the plot. The attorney claimed that Nowak had been trying to persuade his friend to call off the hit, but the friend warned him against angering the gang.
A jury found Nowak guilty after less than three hours of deliberation. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
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