Car dealer accused of trying to get fraud witness — his uncle — killed
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter November 12, 2013 1:28PM
Updated: December 14, 2013 6:25AM
A suburban car dealer plotted to kill his uncle in a doomed attempt to beat a federal fraud case, prosecutors allege.
Sami Hamden — who runs the Hamden Auto Group in Melrose Park — offered $10,000 to an undercover agent posing as a hit man, prosecutors allege in a court filing unsealed Tuesday.
Hamden allegedly believed his uncle helped the feds charge him last month with fraudulently obtaining auto loans for his customers by faking bank statements and other documents.
Shortly after his arrest he told a pal he was “going to destroy” the uncle, according to a federal affidavit.
After he made bail, he met with the pal Nov. 4 at his dealership to discuss hiring a hit man, it’s alleged.
A day later a secret service agent posing as a biker gang member met with Hamden, who told him, “I’m in,” it’s alleged.
Hamden gave the would-be killer his uncle’s home and business addresses and told him when his uncle would be at work alone, the feds say.
But by Nov. 7, Hamden got cold feet and said he wanted “nothing to do with” the plot, adding, “I would never do that,” the affidavit says.
Defense attorney Kevin Bolger on Tuesday told U.S. Judge Milton Shadur that “the most important thing is that when push came to shove Sami didn’t follow through,” urging Shadur to place Hamden on house arrest under the watchful eye of his wife, who “needless to say is cross and livid.”
But Shadur ordered Hamden locked up. “The fact he got the ball rolling” was enough to show he presented a risk, the judge said.
The alleged plot wasn’t Hamden’s first run-in with his uncle, according to the affidavit. In June — before his indictment on the fraud charges — he was arrested by Maywood Police after he allegedly threatened his uncle with a knife.