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Fraud defendant hired hits

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A former car dealership sales manager from Howard Beach has been indicted for allegedly trying to hire an undercover police hitman to kill two former co-workers he believed would testify against him on charges he embezzled $50,000, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Jed Kass, 40, of 89-40 151st Ave., already being held by authorities on Rikers Island on the embezzling charges, was indicted Jan. 24 on new charges of conspiracy and criminal solicitation in Queens Supreme Court, Brown said. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted, the DA said.

"The defendant is alleged to have promised to pay $25,000 and to have provided detailed contact information, including names and types of vehicles that the two intended victims drive, to an individual who he believed was a contract killer," he said.

The DA alleged that Kass spoke by telephone from jail Jan. 6 to an undercover NYPD detective who posed as a murder-for-hire killer and said he could arrange for a double homicide. Brown said the defendant then allegedly met with a second undercover NYPD detective posing as the hitman and gave him detailed information on the two former co-workers, including their names, vehicle descriptions and frequented hangouts.

"Fortunately, the defendant's plot was discovered and now he faces prosecution and certain punishment," Brown said.

Kass was in jail on Rikers Island following his Nov. 14 arrest on grand larceny charges for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from Koeppel Mazda and Hyundai at 43-43 Northern Blvd. in Long Island City, the DA said.

The money had been discovered missing by staff during an internal audit and the dealership subsequently fired Kass when he was arrested, Brown said.

The district attorney said the investigation began in early January when detectives in the DA's New York Police Department Squad learned of the alleged homicide plot and informed prosecutors in the DA's Economic and Environmental Crimes Bureau.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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