Ex-Gangster's Therapist Asked for Help Arranging a Hit: FBI

Crazy story involves FBI agent posing as hitman
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2018 1:32 PM CST
Ex-Gangster's Therapist Asked for Help Arranging a Hit: FBI
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / zoka74)

A New Jersey psychotherapist was being extorted, and when one of her patients revealed in a session that he used to be in an organized crime gang, she allegedly hatched a plan for revenge. Police say Diane Sylvia, 58, asked her patient to get her in touch with a hitman so she could have the blackmailer murdered. Instead, the patient got in touch with the FBI in September and told the bureau what was going on, the New York Times reports. He pretended to get her in touch with a hitman, but the hitman was actually an undercover FBI agent. By the time Sylvia met with the agent in October, she had allegedly downgraded her plan from murder to assault. She allegedly worked with the agent for a month to put together a plan, NJ.com reports.

"He needs his pretty little face bashed in, that’s what I really want," Sylvia, a licensed social worker, allegedly told the agent. "A broken arm would help, too. Something so he can’t do push-ups, so he can’t work out." According to court documents, she made similar requests multiple times, explaining that it would make her "feel better" after being blackmailed by the man for years. She told the agent the man had information on her that he was threatening to report to the licensing board, causing her to lose her job. After allegedly paying the agent $5,000 to beat up the man and disfigure him, she was arrested by the FBI Friday and charged Monday with solicitation to commit a crime of violence. She faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As for her patient, he canceled the rest of his sessions with her after cooperating with the FBI. (A teen allegedly hired a hitman to kill his jeweler dad.)

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