July 14, 2014 / 9:25 PM / 5 years ago

Manager of New Jersey diner pleads guilty in murder for hire plot

NEWARK N.J. (Reuters) - A former manager of the Tick Tock Diner in Clifton, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Monday to hiring a hit man to murder his uncle, who co-owns the popular eatery, prosecutors said.

In exchange for Georgios Spyropoulos admitting to a charge of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, prosecutors at his sentencing on Sept. 19 will recommend sending him to prison for 10 years, said acting state Attorney General John Hoffman.

Spyropoulos, 46, of Clifton, also faces up to five years of supervised release.

“Thanks to the New Jersey State Police, we have a guilty nephew going to prison, instead of an uncle in a shallow grave,” Hoffman said in a statement.

Spyropoulos was arrested in April 2013 in a plot to hire a hit man to kill Alexandro Sgourdos, his uncle by marriage, because he resented the extent to which Sgourdos controlled and profited from two Tick Tock Diners he co-owns, one in Clifton and the other in Manhattan.

While looking for an assassin, Spyropoulos unwittingly approached a police informant in March 2013 and asked for help finding a hit man. Spyropoulos later met with the informant and an undercover detective and offered to pay $20,000 to torture and murder his uncle and dispose of the body, prosecutors said.

Anthony Pope, the lawyer for Spyropoulos, was not immediately available for comment.

Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Eric Walsh

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