NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, N.J., woman today admitted trying to hire a hitman to kill a romantic rival, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Nicole Faccenda, 43, of Lyndhurst, N.J., was charged by Complaint in October 2011 with offering to pay someone to kill the woman for whom her estranged, long-time boyfriend had left her. She pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz to an Information charging her with one count of using the mail and facilities of commerce with the intent that a murder be committed for payment. Faccenda was remanded pending sentencing before U.S. District Judge Faith S. Hochberg.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Faccenda had been in a long-term relationship with a man with whom she had a child; that relationship ended when the man began a relationship with another woman, with whom he also had a child. On Oct. 19, 2011, Faccenda contacted a person she knew and trusted in Florida and told this person she wanted help in finding someone to kill her ex-boyfriend's girlfriend. She told this acquaintance she had a black dress ready to wear to the intended victim's funeral and would "spit on the casket." The acquaintance contacted federal authorities and the next day spoke again with Faccenda – a conversation that was recorded by agents of the ATF. The acquaintance told Faccenda he had found a person to do the murder. The acquaintance and an undercover ATF task force officer posing as a hitman then met with Faccenda in New Jersey to arrange the murder.
Faccenda agreed to pay the undercover hitman $5,000 in advance and $5,000 after the intended victim was killed. In a number of recorded conversations, Faccenda said she wanted the woman to be gone and her boyfriend to be miserable. She said she wanted the girlfriend shot in the head, that the boyfriend could be shot in the foot, and if something happened to the girlfriend's children, "Oh, well, I'm sorry."
On Oct. 24, Faccenda met with her acquaintance from Florida in a Secaucus gas station parking lot and gave him an envelope with $2,000 for the purported hitman. Over the next few hours, she provided information, including a name, photo, work schedule and license plate number of the intended victim. On Oct. 26, the friend called Faccenda and told her the victim had been shot in the head and it had been made to look like a robbery. Faccenda was arrested at work by ATF agents a short time later.
The murder-for-hire count to which Faccenda pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 14, 2012
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the ATF under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Matthew Horace with the investigation that led to these charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Serina M. Vash of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark.