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A New Jersey man who has been jailed and had his assets frozen while he awaits trial in a massive securities fraud scheme was charged with conspiring to kill the judge who has been presiding over the case, Acting New York Supreme Court Justice Leslie Crocker Snyder. Stuart Winkler, once vice president of the now defunct A.S. Goldmen & Co. Inc., was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on second-degree conspiracy and criminal solicitation charges for allegedly hiring a hit man to kill Justice Snyder. If convicted of the top count, conspiracy, Winkler could face up to 25 years in prison. Winkler was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before Acting Justice Arlene Goldberg, who remanded him to jail. Prosecutors said it was too soon to tell whether the securities fraud case would be transferred to a new judge. Winkler and 16 other men were named in a 240-count indictment in July 1999 alleging that A.S. Goldmen and its brokers engaged in a number of stock manipulation schemes that defrauded investors of at least $99 million over a six-year period. None of the other defendants were involved in the conspiracy to kill the judge, prosecutors said. According to Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau’s office, which announced the indictment, Winkler contacted a hit man because he blamed Snyder for changing the conditions of his $1 million bail. After he and his family chartered a private airplane to vacation in the Cayman Islands, the judge required that Winkler’s bail be fully secured. Mr. Winkler could not meet such a condition and has remained in jail awaiting trial. Justice Snyder, a New York Court of Claims judge who has been an Acting Supreme Court justice in the Criminal Term since 1986, was previously the subject of death threats while she presided over the trial of several members of the Wild Cowboys drug gang, and has been depicted on glassine heroin envelopes labeled “25 to Life.” She has a reputation of doling out tough sentences. Winkler allegedly wanted to have another judge assigned to his case and therefore in June sought the help of a contract killer. The indictment charged that he gave the intended hit man the telephone number of a company that would arrange payment for the judge’s murder and a code to use to coordinate the time of the killing. Winkler also allegedly gave the hit man information about the security arrangements around Justice Snyder’s courtroom and about her vacation schedule. All of the Goldmen defendants’ assets were frozen in a civil forfeiture action brought simultaneously with the securities indictment last year. But prosecutors were able to find only $48,000 in funds in Mr. Winkler’s name. Some $5 million in accounts in his wife’s and three children’s names were attached this spring in orders signed by Justice William J. Davis and Acting Justice Franklin R. Weissberg. The funds were allegedly derived from Winkler’s illegal activities.

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