TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Pinellas County man was sentenced to over 17 years in prison for trying to hire a hitman to steal property from two victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Middle District of Florida.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that Alexander Leszczynski was sentenced after a ruling by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr.

Officials said Leszczynski’s murder-for-hire plot first began as an attempted fraud case when he, under the guise of a fake charity, filed a fake warranty deed to get a piece of property in Redington Shores.

According to the attorney’s office, the actual homeowners sued Leszczynski to correct the deed, but he responded by sending harassing letters and other messages to both the victims and their legal representation.

Leszczynski was eventually charged in April 2022 with fraud and money laundering in multiple cases, but in August 2022, the FBI learned that the defendant was planning to hire a hitman to kill the victims in his cases.

“Leszczynski reported to a confidential informant that he had $45,000, hidden at his residence, available to pay someone to kill the victims,” a release said. “Leszczynski relayed to the confidential informant that he would be able to get the victims’ property and that his pending criminal case (the fraud case) would have to be dropped if the victims were dead.”

In response, the informant had Leszczynski contact an undercover agent who was pretending to be a contract killer.

On Sept. 8 and 9 of that year, Leszczynski spoke with the agent via phone calls, sharing the victims’ names and addresses as well as other information to conduct the hit.

“Leszczynski also negotiated the price for the murder at $30,000, and repeatedly ensured that he wanted Victim 1 and Victim 2 dead,” the release said.

Authorities said they also seized numerous other letters where Leszczynski tried to get others to take responsibility for his crimes, sometimes by threatening them.

The defendant pleaded guilty to the murder-for-hire plot twice, once in November 2022 and again in June 2023 after withdrawing the earlier plea. He also pleaded guilty in the fraud case back in 2022.

Moody ordered that Leszczynski would serve his sentence in the hitman plot consecutive to the 17-year-and-6-month sentence he got for the fraud charge.