A Goleta resident who attempted to hire a hit man to kill a Bel Air couple and a former business partner in 2010 was sentenced to six years in federal prison on Monday.
Eugene Darryl Temkin, 51, was arrested in July of 2010 after soliciting the services of an undercover LAPD officer posing as a contract killer under the alias of “Pavel.” In August of 2010, Judge Stephen V. Wilson found Temkin guilty of soliciting a crime of violence, attempting to interfere with interstate commerce by threats and violence and using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire.
Assistant U.S. Attorney E. Martin Estrada said Temkin plotted the deaths of two associates and one of their wives after a business deal to open a casino in Africa went sour.
“The defendant got all the money that was owed to him but still had this vendetta against the victim,” Estrada said. “There was the long vendetta, a 10-year history of harassing and threatening the victim, the history of civil litigation, a history of restraining orders and ultimately hiring a hit man.”
Estrada said law enforcement first became aware of Temkin’s intentions after he informed a friend about his plots. The friend informed law enforcement authorities, who employed undercover officers to collect evidence against Temkin. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Temkin met with “Pavel” and asked the undercover agent to extort $15 million from one victim, transfer it to an offshore bank account in Uruguay and then torture and murder the victims while they were on vacation in Spain.
FBI agents attempted to halt Temkin’s vendetta against his former associates, even visiting his house and warning him to stop harassing the victims. According to Estrada, the FBI agent who testified in court said this is the first case she is aware of in which the suspect continued with his actions in spite of the advice.
Estrada said Temkin was not deemed to be mentally unstable by the court; instead, he was well aware of the serious consequences of his actions.
“The court made clear that Temkin was not at all insane,” Estrada said. “He was cagey like a fox … He was very careful and very cognizant of the possibility of getting caught and worried about law enforcement detecting him.”
In their final undercover meeting, Temkin paid the undercover officer $3,000 of a promised $30,000.