NEWARK, N.J. – A Connecticut man today admitted his role in a murder-for-hire scheme in which a New Jersey-based political consultant paid him and another man to kill a longtime associate, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
In January, Sean Caddle, 44, of Hamburg, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire.
Caddle operated a SuperPAC called Committee for Economic Growth and Social Justice and worked on North Jersey political campaigns, funneling about $750,000 in payments to his consulting firm the political campaigns he worked on.
George Bratsenis, 73, of Monroe, Connecticut, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge John Michael Vazquez to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit murder for hire. Bratsenis’ conspirators – Sean Caddle and Bomani Africa – previously pleaded guilty before Judge Vazquez to their roles in the murder scheme.
“On May 22, 2014, the two men traveled from out of state to the victim’s apartment in Jersey City. After entering the apartment, they stabbed the victim to death and then set fire to the victim’s apartment,” the DOJ announced at the time of the murder.
“Eight years ago, these three individuals – Caddle, Bratsenis, and Africa – conspired to brutally murder the victim,” U.S. Attorney Sellinger said. “At Caddle’s direction, Bratsenis and Africa stabbed the victim to death in the victim’s apartment, and then set it ablaze. These guilty pleas bring a measure of justice to the victim’s memory and for his family. I commend the efforts of the FBI, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, and my Office for their determination over many years to bring this matter to resolution.”
“This defendant conspired in the ultimate crime – murder for money,” FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. said. “Those who devalue life – whether out of greed or animus – need to know that the FBI is dedicated to keeping our citizens safe, and nothing will stop us from accomplishing that mission. When you break the law, you will be brought to justice no matter how long it takes.”
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In April of 2014, Caddle solicited Bratsenis to commit a murder on Caddle’s behalf in exchange for thousands of dollars. Bratsenis recruited Africa, a longtime accomplice from Philadelphia, to join the plot. After Bratsenis confirmed his and Africa’s interest in the job, Caddle told Bratsenis that the target was a longtime associate who had worked for Caddle on various political campaigns.
On May 22, 2014, Bratsenis and Africa traveled from out of state to the victim’s apartment in Jersey City. After entering the apartment, Bratsenis and Africa stabbed the victim to death and then set fire to the victim’s apartment. After Caddle learned that the victim had been murdered, the following day, he met Bratsenis in the parking lot of a diner in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Caddle paid Bratsenis thousands of dollars in exchange for the murder, and Bratsenis shared a portion of those proceeds with Africa.
Bratsenis faces a maximum potential penalty of life imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2022.