Skip to main content
Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022 1 week ago

Pinellas County man pleads guilty to PPP fraud, murder-for-hire charges

Share
Alexander Leszczynski’s convoluted, high-profile scheme also included an attempt to exonerate himself with a fake pardon he claimed was signed by former President Donald Trump.
by: Brian Hartz Tampa Bay Editor

Alexander Leszczynski, a resident of North Redington Beach in Pinellas County, has pleaded guilty to charges filed against him in two separate cases. One involves his attempt to defraud the federal Paycheck Protection Program and obtain ownership of 10 properties, collectively valued at more than $300 million, via fake warranty deeds; the other arose while he was in jail and attempted to hire a hitman to kill two victims of his fraudulent activities.

According to a news release issued by the office of U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg, who represents the Department of Justice’s Middle District of Florida, Leszczynski, 24, pleaded guilty in the first case to wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, and murder-for-hire and obstruction of justice in the second case. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison in the fraud case and up to 10 years of imprisonment in the murder-for-hire case.

Leszczynski’s convoluted fraud scheme involved a fictitious charity called Love & Bliss Inc., check kiting and a fraudulent PPP application that netted him $195,910. In total, he funneled approximately $2.7 million through the charity in a failed money-laundering effort, authorities alleged. 

When federal officials froze $337,000 in an account that Leszczynski controlled, he responded by producing a fabricated pardon that he claimed was signed by former President Donald Trump.

In the warranty deed scheme, Lesczcynski filed fraudulent legal documents purporting to deed to himself and his businesses 10 properties around the United States worth more than $300 million. When property owners and attorneys attempted to correct the fraudulent deeds, Lesczcynski responded by sending harassing and threatening letters, emails and faxes.

Later, while incarcerated at the Pinellas County Jail, Leszczynski told a confidential informant he would pay $45,000 to have two victims of his warranty deed scheme — identified only as Victim 1 and Victim 2 — killed, officials say. The confidential informant agreed to put Leszczynski in contact with a purported hitman, who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

In September, the release states, Lesczcynski spoke via phone with the undercover agent and negotiated what he thought was a $30,000 contract to have the two victims murdered.

The fraud case was investigated by the FBI, the Largo Police Department, the Indian Shores Police Department and the Palm Beach Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Jones. The murder-for-hire case was investigated by the FBI and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shauna Hale.

Related Stories

Advertisement