EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (CN) - A man desperate to avoid foreclosure on his home admitted in Federal Court that he planned to kidnap an attorney and hold him for ransom.
In making the plea, Brett L. Nash, 46, did not admit to various murder plots that prosecutor claimed he had concocted as well, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. One plot allegedly involved a hot-tub electrocution that Nash would have blamed on the victim's cat.
The intended victim was not identified in the plea, but the Post-Dispatch identified him as a onetime corporate lawyer from Granite City, Ill.
The man, whom Nash considered wealthy, had a romantic interest in Nash's wife, a former dancer, according to court documents. Nash needed at least $30,000 to save his home, according to the plea.
After his wife refused to help, Nash turned to a fellow union member and barge deckhand for help. That person alerted authorities.
Nash faces up to 20 years in prison at his March 13 sentencing. As part of Nash's guilty plea to a charge of solicitation of a crime of violence, prosecutors agreed to drop other charges, which included murder-for-hire.
In charging documents, FBI Special Agent Nicholas Manns claimed Nash had several plans for his victim. One was to hold the attorney for weeks, while looting his safe and forcing him to hand over money.
Another plan was based on a TV show plot and involved fooling the victim into thinking he was wired with explosives.
Another plan involved getting the attorney's fingerprints on a knife and threatening to kill his girlfriend unless he cooperated.
Nash also talked about electrocuting the man in a hot tub and making it appear that the attorney's cat had knocked a radio into the water, according to Agent Manns.
The FBI and Madison County sheriff's deputies arrested Nash before any plan was carried out, the Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities said they found a pellet gun, ski mask, handcuffs and a diagram of the lawyer's home at Nash's house.