Officials: Shore therapist paid undercover FBI agent to maim colleague

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Authorities say a New Jersey therapist hired an FBI agent posing as a hit man to disfigure a colleague who had threatened to report her to a licensing board.

Diane Sylvia is charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

Authorities say the 58-year-old Somers Point therapist asked a patient, who is a former gang member and informant, for help in injuring a North Attleboro, Massachusetts man. Investigators say Sylvia said the man had “some stuff” on her that he would report.

Authorities say the informant connected Sylvia to an undercover FBI agent who recorded their conversations. Sylvia told the agent her colleague needed “his pretty little face bashed in,” later adding that “a broken arm would help, too,” prosecutors said.

“It’s just gonna make me feel better,” she said when asked how assaulting the man would help her, according to authorities. “It’s the only way I can get him back,” Sylvia added.

She purchased a pre-paid phone to communicate with the undercover agent at the request of the undercover agent, according to prosecutors.

Authorities say that at one of the two meetings with the agent at her office, Sylvia clarified how she wanted the assault to occur: “Something that makes him not so cute” — while making a slashing motion on her cheek — “something so he can’t do push-ups, so he can’t work out.”

Authorities say she paid $5,000 for the plan.

Sylvia made her initial court appearance Monday and has been released on bail.

The solicitation of a crime of violence charge carries a statutory maximum of five years in prison and $250,000 fine, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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