Mass. Attorney Given Ten Years for Murder-for-Hire Scheme Against Ex-Wife

A Massachusetts lawyer named Allen Gessen received a ten-year federal prison sentence for trying to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife, in a startling resolution to a case that has drawn a lot of interest. This unsettling scheme came to pass as Gessen spoke with an FBI undercover agent who he thought was a contract killer who would kill his ex-wife for money.

The story opened in the summer of 2022 in the middle of a turbulent and continuing child custody battle with his ex-wife, Priscilla Chigariro. Further deterioration in the tense relationship led Gessen to think of using lethal methods to settle his family disputes. At first, Gessen thought about having Chigariro deported from the US and offered to pay $100,000 for the service. Later on, though, he saw murder to be a more affordable and permanent option.

Gessen gave the undercover agent a $25,000 deposit, which gave his evil plans more concrete form. Two thousand dollars in gold coins and twenty thousand dollars sent to a bank account made up the payment. On successful completion of the murder, he offered an extra $25,000. Gessen wrote the agent a phoney consulting services agreement to hide the illegality of this deal.

He made great effort to prepare; he gave the alleged hitman thorough information about Chigariro’s daily schedule, the locations she visited, and other personal information necessary to carry out the murder. This degree of organization revealed how determined Gessen was to completely remove his ex-wife from his life and the lives of their kids.

When it became out during the trial that Gessen had once planned for a foreign hit squad to go to Massachusetts in order to spy on Chigariro, the scheme took a darker turn. Financial limitations forced the cancellation of this first plan, but it showed his steadfast desire to hurt her.

Following a week-long trial in May 2023, the federal jury found Gessen guilty and sentenced him to ten years in prison with three years of supervised release. Along with serious legal consequences, his acts ended his career as a New York licensed attorney.

Once living with Gessen in Russia and Zimbabwe, Chigariro said she was shocked and incredulous to hear about the murder scheme. She described their stormy relationship, complete with abuse, in a string of YouTube videos. She was emotionally numb when the murder-for-hire scheme was revealed, unable to understand how deeply Gessen had betrayed her.

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This story is a somber reminder of how intensely personal conflicts can turn into criminal acts, which makes high-conflict custody situations more urgently need for attention and assistance.

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