Malden man pleads guilty to trying to hire someone to murder his wife


The contract killer Massimo Marenghi hired to murder his wife in 2021 was actually an undercover federal agent, officials said.

After his wife sought a restraining order against him, Massimo Marenghi went looking for someone to help kill her and eventually paid a contract killer to “eliminate” his problem, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. 

There was just one catch: The contract killer was actually an undercover federal agent. 

On Thursday, the 56-year-old Marenghi pleaded guilty to one count of murder-for-hire, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000, given there was no injury or death involved. 

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An attorney for the Malden man declined to comment.  

On Jan. 1, 2021, an unidentified individual went to authorities and told them that Marenghi had asked for help killing his wife, U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’s office said in a news release. Working with federal agents, that person then introduced Marenghi to an undercover agent posing as a contract killer. 

Marenghi met with the agent multiple times in January 2021, providing photographs of his wife and her home, details about her car and work schedule, and an explanation of how to evade detection by cameras while approaching the residence, according to the release.

He also paid a $1,500 cash deposit for the “demolition job” and gave the agent a schedule of when he would have custody of his children, which he said would be the “best time for the construction work to start,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. 

Marenghi was arrested in January 2021 and indicted by a federal grand jury a month later. His sentencing is slated for June 8. 

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