Elma wo­man is charged with try­ing to hire hit man to maim her ex-boyfriend in Florida

The Buffalo News - - LOCAL NEWS - By Bar­bara O’Brien NEWS STAFF RE­PORTER

An Elma wo­man wanted her for­mer boyfriend beaten so badly his legs and waist would break and he would be crip­pled.

A com­plaint in U.S. District court al­leges the wo­man, Yanyan Lesser, 47, went on the dark web to find some­one will­ing to carry out the as­sault.

She in­structed the hit man to “give him a good beat­ing” and said that it needed to look like a rob­bery, ac­cord­ing to court papers.

Lesser is now fac­ing a max­i­mum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, ac­cord­ing to U.S. At­tor­ney James P. Kennedy Jr. She is charged with trans­mit­ting in in­ter­state or for­eign com­merce a com­mu­ni­ca­tion con­tain­ing a threat to in­jure an­other per­son.

The case came to light be­tween Feb. 14 and Feb. 19, when Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions in St. Paul, Minn., re­ceived in­for­ma­tion that a per­son with the moniker “TREE I” was con­spir­ing with an un­known in­di­vid­ual to harm the for­mer boyfriend, ac­cord­ing to As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Stephanie O. La­mar­que, who is han­dling the case.

Some of the com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­cluded in­struc­tions on what was to be done to the man, in­clud­ing: “Be­cause of a busi­ness dis­pute, I would like to give this guy a les­son: give him a good beat­ing and legs bro­ken, waist bro­ken and even crip­ple the mark of his legs,” ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint.

Other direc­tions to the pur­ported as­sailant said, “I will add $2,500 more to cover the cost of beat­ing, crip­pling and rob­bery look like job. Please re­mem­ber must be ... like a ROB­BERY! That’s very im­por­tant!”

And TREE I also told the hit man that the vic­tim does not speak or un­der­stand English: “So when hit man to do the job with crip­pling and look­ing like rob­bery, Re­mem­ber to Yelled at that Chi­nese guy: “MONEY! MONEY! Be­cause that’s only the English word that guy can un­der­stand.”

The com­plaint al­leges that TREE I made two trans­fers of Bit­coin to­tal­ing $7,285 to an ad­dress on the dark web to fa­cil­i­tate the as­sault. An­other com­mu­ni­ca­tion in­cluded a pho­to­graph of an un­known per­son’s lower back area with the words “bro­ken waist” writ­ten across it, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. at­tor­ney’s of­fice.

Home­land Se­cu­rity in­ves­ti­ga­tors in Or­lando, Fla., where the ex-boyfriend lives, in­ter­viewed him at his home Feb. 20. He said he was not aware of any threat against him, but he be­lieved his for­mer girl­friend was un­sta­ble and would be ca­pa­ble of do­ing some­thing like that.

Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing a re­view of cell­phone and bank records de­ter­mined that TREE I is Lesser, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors.

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