NEWARK, N.J., April 3 (UPI) -- A New Jersey construction official serving a prison term for taking bribes was charged Thursday with trying to set up his wife's murder.
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie said Richard Kaplan asked a fellow inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fairton, South Jersey, to put him in touch with a hitman, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Kaplan did not realize the inmate he thought was a hired killer was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Kaplan allegedly approached the other inmate shortly after he began serving a 30-month sentence for taking bribes while he was a construction inspector in New Brunswick.
Investigators said in court papers that Kaplan offered $30,000 for the killing, saying he would pay $2,000 beforehand and the balance while he was on furlough to attend his wife's funeral. He requested an arranged car crash.
Kaplan allegedly arranged for his accountant to meet the "hitman" at a restaurant. He told his accountant he was hiring a detective to gather evidence against his wife for their divorce.
Christie called Kaplan "an extremely unrepentant felon."