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Florida man who fabricated presidential pardon sentenced in separate murder-for-hire scheme

A Florida man, already convicted on fraud charges, was sentenced Monday to more than 17 years behind bars in connection with a murder-for-hire plot, officials said. 

Alexander Leszczynski's sentence will be served consecutively with a 17 1/2-year sentence he received last month on fraud charges. In the fraud case, Leszczynski used fake religious organizations to apply for about $1.3 million in Payroll Protection Plan loans, prosecutors said. 

After government investigators seized $337,000 from one of Leszczynski's accounts, he "attempted to have it released by producing a fabricated pardon purportedly signed by former President Donald Trump," the Department of Justice said.

In the murder-for-hire case, Leszczynski in October 2020 filed a fraudulent warranty deed for a transfer of a property, prosecutors said. The property owners then sued Leszczynski to correct the deed. In response, Leszczynski sent them a series of harassing letters, emails and faxes. 

Leszczynski was charged with deed fraud in April last year. While behind bars at the Pinellas County Jail, he tried to hire a hitman to kill the property owners who'd sued him. Leszczynski told a confidential informant that he had $45,000 stashed away at his home that he could use to pay a hitman, authorities said. 

The confidential informant put Leszczynski in touch with an undercover agent pretending to be a hitman. Leszczynski in September 2022 provided the fake hitman with the personal details of the two property owners. He agreed to pay $30,000 for their murder.

Leszczynski pleaded guilty in November 2022, withdrew his plea, and then pleaded guilty again in June, according to the Department of Justice. In the time since his plea, Leszczynski has written letters trying to solicit and threaten others to come forward and fraudulently take responsibility for his crimes.

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