An Atlantic County therapist admitted in federal court Tuesday that she paid someone she thought was a hit man $4,000 to assault her ex-boyfriend.
“He needs his pretty little face bashed in, that’s what I really want,” Diane Sylvia, 60, of Somers Point, told a former mobster who was a patient of hers, the FBI said.
The onetime wiseguy went straight to the FBI instead.
He introduced Sylvia – then a licensed clinical social worker with a private mental health counseling practice in Linwood -- to an undercover agent posing as an enforcer-for-hire, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
“I really just want his face punched in, I swear to God. And his arm broken, that’s what I want,” Sylvia said in secretly recorded conversations with the agent, Carpenito said. “Something that makes him not so cute…something so he can’t do push-ups, so he can’t work out.”
Asked for the reason, Sylvia explained on the recordings that her ex, who lived in Massachusetts, “ended up with some stuff on me that he was gonna report me to the licensing board, which means I have no job,” the U.S. attorney said.
“It’s just gonna make me feel better” and “it’s the only way I can get him back,” she was recorded saying.
During an October 2018 meeting in her office, the “hitman” told Sylvia to get rid of a pre-paid cellphone she’d been using to communicate with him, Carpenito said.
She asked whether she should throw it off the Ocean City Bridge, he said.
FBI agents ended the meeting by taking her into custody.
Sylvia pleaded guilty Tuesday via teleconference in U.S. District Court in Camden to “solicitation to commit a crime of violence with the intent to seriously injure another,” Carpenito said.
U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez scheduled sentencing for Jan. 27.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI Newark Field Office with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick C. Askin of the Camden Division.
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