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Man awaiting trial in California charged in federal murder-for-hire plot

A Florida man faced a federal judge in Las Vegas this week in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill a documentarty filmmaker and conspiracy to prevent a witness from testifying.

Fereidoun Khalilian, also known as “Prince Fred” and “Fred,” 51, was charged by indictment with one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and one count of conspiracy to witness tamper.

Magistrate Judge Elayna Youchah scheduled a trial date for Feb. 5, according to a Department of Justice news release.

According to allegations in the indictment, from about March 16 to about March 21, Khalilian left multiple threatening voice messages for a filmmaker in part to stop the filmmaker from producing a documentary about him.

Khalilian believed his ongoing business dealings would be undermined if the documentary was made. It is also alleged that, from about January 28 to about March 17, Khalilian employed his bodyguard and others to surveil and assault the filmmaker and steal the filmmaker’s documentary equipment. Khalilian then hired his bodyguard to kill the filmmaker.

The bodyguard resided in Clark County and was expected to testify against Khalilian at his murder-for-hire trial in the Central District of California.

Further alleged, from about August 17 to about September 12 Khalilian — who was incarcerated pending his trial in California — instructed friends and family to persuade a witness to recant prior statements and to change the witness’ testimony.

If convicted, the maximum statutory penalty is 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000, and a $100 special assessment, for use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire; and 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $250,000, and a $100 special assessment, for conspiracy to witness tamper.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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