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A bankrupt diamond company executive, convicted in a multi-million...

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NEW YORK -- A bankrupt diamond company executive, convicted in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme, was charged Thursday with hiring a hit man from his prison cell to kill an attorney.

Irwin Margolies, 47, of Scarsdale, N.Y., also allegedly hired Donald Nash who was convicted May 24 of killing one of Margolies' employees and three CBS technicians who came to her aid. Margolies was not indicted in the Nash case.

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In the charges announced Thursday by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John Martin, Margolies was accused of attempted murder in plotting the death of David Blejwas, a member of the law firm of Hahn and Hessen, attorneys representing a loan company that had been defrauded of about $5.6 million by Margolies and his wife, Madeleine.

Margolies pleaded guilty to the fraud charges and was sentenced to serve 28 years in a federal prison. Shortly after he began that sentence at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, Margolies allegedly asked another prisoner if he would kill Blejwas for $15,000.

The unnamed prisoner was released shortly after Margolies allegedly made his proposal in February and became an informant for the FBI.

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About $2,800 was paid to the informant on four occasions by Margolies' brother-in-law, Scott Malen, 31, of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., Martin said.

Malen was arrested Thursday and charged with perjury for lying to a federal grand jury about his role in making the payments, Martin said.

In Malen's grand jury testimony he also revealed that he made three payments on Margolies' behalf totaling $15,000 to persons who were supposed to deliver the money to Nash's defense attorney, Lawrence Hochheiser.

Margolies and Malen were to be arraigned later Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

Margolies' business, the Candor Diamond Co. in Manhattan, was thrown into involuntary bankruptcy after its primary lender, the John P. McGuire Co., discovered Candor had been using phony invoices for collateral for loans.

The subsequent fraud investigation allegedly led Margolies to hire Nash to kill two of his employees, Margaret Barbera and Jenny Soo Chin, to prevent them from cooperating with federal investigators.

Nash faces sentencing later this month for his convictions in state Supreme Court in Manhattan for conspiring to kill the two women and murdering Miss Barbera, 38, of Queens, and three CBS employees who witnessed the April 12, 1982 shooting.

Mrs. Chin, 46, of Teaneck, N.J., disappeared three months earlier and is presumed dead.

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