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NY fraudster denies seeking hit on a witness
NY man convicted in mortgage fraud pleads not guilty to trying to get witness killed
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' A New York man convicted of leading a $100 million mortgage fraud scheme has pleaded not guilty to trying to get a key witness killed.

Former AFG Financial Group Inc. President Aaron Hand was arraigned Thursday on attempted murder and other charges. His lawyer says Hand never wanted to hurt anyone and was entrapped by authorities.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says Hand hatched the plot in prison and met there with an undercover investigator posing as a hit man. Prosecutors say Hand arranged to get the investigator $150 to buy a gun and then agreed to pay $2,000 for the slaying.

The charges were first reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal.

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