Lombard real estate developer goes on trial in murder-for-hire case
BY DIANA NOVAK Staff Reporter August 26, 2013 7:06PM
Updated: August 27, 2013 12:43AM
Jurors heard opening arguments in federal court Monday in the case of Daniel Dvorkin, a Lombard real estate developer charged with soliciting the murder of a plaintiff awarded an $8 million judgment against Dvorkin and his company.
Prosecutors portrayed Dvorkin, charged with one count of felony solicitation to commit a crime of violence, as a man in hot water looking for a quick exit.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather McShain told U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang’s courtroom Dvorkin asked Robert Bevis, a gun store owner and business contact in April 2012 if he knew of someone who could make the Texas judgment plaintiff “stop breathing.”
Dvorkin offered Bevis $100,000 in untraceable money and information about the alleged target before telling him he had found another assassin who would do the job more cheaply a few weeks later, prosecutors said.
In response, Bevis told Dvorkin he knew a hit man in Florida — a lie, McShain told the court.
“What the defendant put into motion and did not stop” is the focus of the government’s case, McShain said.
Recordings of Dvorkin’s multiple conversations with Bevis, who reached out to law enforcement after Dvorkin approached him, form the backbone of the prosecution’s case.
Dvorkin’s attorney Scott Frankel disputed Dvorkin’s intent, telling jurors they “will not hear a solicitation of murder on those recordings.”
Dvorkin made an “offhand remark” to a friend and then, frightened by the response he received, said he had found someone else.
“He didn’t know how to tell Mr. Bevis he wasn’t interested,” Frankel said. “Anything to get out of it.”
Calling Dvorkin a shrewd businessman with the “highest peaceful character,” Frankel told the jury Dvorkin would have known that because his debt was owed to a limited liability partnership and not a single person, it would not go away with murder.
The trial continues with witness testimony Tuesday. If convicted, Dvorkin faces up to five years in prison.