Massachusetts Man Tried to Bribe Immigration Official to Deport Mother of Children, Before Hiring 'Hitman' to Kill Her Amid Custody Dispute

Allen Gessen and Priscilla Chigariro
Allen Gessen and Priscilla Chigariro with their two children. Twitter

A Massachusetts man has been convicted on murder for hire charged after he arranged to pay an undercover FBI agent to have the mother of his young children killed, according to United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and FBI Special Agent Robert K. Tripp.

The verdict was announced following a one-week trial before the Hon. Jacqueline Scott Corley, U.S. District Judge.

Gessen and His Partner were in a Years-Long Child Custody Dispute

According to prosecutors, Allen Gessen, 48, of Massachusetts, was an attorney licensed in New York when he was introduced to an undercover FBI agent. In the summer of 2022, Gessen met with the undercover FBI agent on two occasions, first in Boca Raton, Florida and then again in New York City.

During the meetings, Gessen volunteered details of a years-long dispute with his former partner which had resulted in contentious child custody proceedings. The evidence at trial established that over the course of the investigation, Gessen's tried to use the agent's connections to commit the crimes.

His plan escalated from bribing an immigration official to deport his former partner to hiring someone to murder his former partner, a Zimbabwean fashion entrepreneur identified as Priscilla Chigariro.

Allen Gessen and Priscilla Chigariro
Allen Gessen and Priscilla Chigariro LinkedIn/Instagram

Gessen Decided to Kill Chigariro as it was a 'Cheaper and More Permanent Solution'

Gessen allegedly believed his former partner's deportation would allow him to have full custody of their two minor children. Gessen initially agreed to pay the undercover FBI agent $100,000 to accomplish the bribery and deportation scheme.

He tried to justify the expenditure by saying he would pay more in child support if his former partner remained in the United States. However, at the end of that same meeting, Gessen resolved to murder his former partner because it was a "cheaper way to get rid of her" and was a more permanent solution.

Gessen Gave Agent a Gold Coin, Wired $25,000 as Down Payment for Hit

Gessen agreed to pay $50,000 to have the murder completed. Specifically, he agreed to pay a $25,000 deposit and have the remaining $25,000 after her murder. During these discussions, Gessen told the undercover FBI agent that he had previously researched murder for hire and paid $10,000 toward accomplishing the task.

He said he paid for a hit team from a foreign country to travel to Massachusetts, conduct reconnaissance, and surveil Chigariro. Nevertheless, Gessen explained, after the team completed their reconnaissance, they told Gessen it would cost another $210,000 to commit the murder. Gessen did not continue with that plan because of the cost.

Gessen gave the undercover FBI agent a gold coin worth approximately $2,000. Shortly thereafter, Gessen wired a total of $23,000 to an FBI undercover bank account in San Francisco, to carry out the murder.

Around the same time, Gessen also sent to the undercover FBI agent a written agreement containing a promise to pay for phony "consulting services" as a method to disguise the true nature of the funds. He also provided to the undercover FBI agent a target package containing details about his former partner's whereabouts, schedule, and lifestyle habits.

A federal grand jury indicted Gessen on July 26, 2022, charging him with one count of murder for hire. The jury convicted Gessen of the charge. A date for the sentencing hearing has not yet been set, but Gessen faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.