A Long Island, New York, doctor was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly plotting to kill his rival, officials announced Wednesday.
Police said Dr. Anthony J. Moschetto, 54, planned to burn down the practice of a fellow cardiologist and then have the man, identified by Moschetto’s attorney as Martin Handler, killed in a murder-for-hire plot, according to Newsday.
The investigation began in December, when authorities became suspicious that Moschetto was allegedly writing a large amount of prescriptions for oxycodone. But what they uncovered was far worse than a mere drug scheme.
Moschetto allegedly hired a man, who turned out to be an undercover cop, to perform a hit on his rival, the Associated Press reports.
“He was willing to pay $5,000 to have him beaten and put in the hospital for a couple of months and pay $20,000 to have him killed,” Nassau County Assistant District Attorney Anne Donnelly said of Moschetto’s intentions. “He wanted to put him out of business so he could get his business.”
Authorities said the dispute began after Moschetto left his rival’s practice around November, according to Newsday.
When investigators searched Moschetto’s home, they allegedly discovered a huge trove of weapons hidden in a secret room accessed through a bookshelf.
Two other men were arrested as well for allegedly torching the rival doctor’s office. Fortunately, the fire happened beneath a sprinkler, causing minimal damage, the AP reports. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Dr. Moschetto is a hidden monster living in the North Shore area who has no respect for law and life,” said Nassau County Police Department Acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter. “He had enough weapons to provide a small army means to wreak harm.”
Moschetto pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and other charges at his arraignment Wednesday. He posted a $2 million bond and is due back in court on April 17.
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