An Augusta man was arrested by federal authorities in New York for allegedly agreeing to murder a businessman for $50,000.

Hyunkook Korsiak of Augusta allegedly planned to use this mask to conceal his identity while murdering a Manhattan businessman for $50,000. Unbeknownst to Korsiak, he had been plotting the murder of a fictitious person with an undercover FBI agent. Korsiak was arrested and charged this week. Courtesy of U.S. Department of Justice

Hyunkook Korsiak, 41, allegedly plotted, unbeknownst to him with an undercover FBI agent, for two months and agreed to murder a fictitious businessman in Manhattan.

Wednesday he traveled to Tarrytown, New York, where he intended to make his final preparations for the murder-for-hire, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He was arrested there by FBI agents.

Found in his possession were four firearms including two AR-15 rifles and two 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistols, a bullet-resistant vest, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a latex mask he allegedly asked for in order to look like an old man and conceal his identity, rifle scopes and latex gloves, many of which were items Korsiak told the undercover agent he would use during the planned murder.

“As alleged, the defendant was willing to travel over 300 miles in order to fulfill his depraved desire to be paid for taking another human’s life,” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in the news release. “The defendant displayed callous disregard for life and planned to conduct his act of violence in the middle of Manhattan. The FBI will not tolerate such acts of violence and any individual willing to cold heartedly kill another person will be made to face the consequences in the criminal justice system.”

The FBI began an investigation after communications sent by Korsiak, expressing a desire to kill a person for money, were intercepted by the federal Bureau of Prisons.


In 2018 Korsiak was sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to stealing firearms from a Brunswick gun dealer in 2017.

He is now charged with one count of murder-for-hire, which carries a maximum prison sentence of  up to 10 years, and one count of possession of a firearm following a felony conviction, which carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Between January and March of this year Korsiak allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent multiple times in Boston and New York and agreed to murder a fictitious businessman who the agent told him was staying at a midtown Manhattan hotel.

During one of those meetings with the agent, authorities said Korsiak described how he would commit the murder and what weapons he planned to use, including an AR-15 rifle and 9-millimeter pistol he possessed. He allegedly asked the undercover agent to provide him with silencers for those weapons as well as a latex mask that he could use to help defeat facial recognition technology. He also allegedly told agents he would approach the victim as he walked in midtown Manhattan and shoot him from inside a car. His plan also included using a police uniform to help him evade capture after he committed the murder.

An affidavit filed in federal court by Christopher Serotta, an FBI agent, states after the FBI received the information from the Bureau of Prisons that Korsiak had expressed interest in murder-for-hire, an undercover agent “posing as a member of a transnational criminal organization engaged in money laundering, drug and weapons trafficking and various acts of violence, including murder,” reached out to him via Telegram, a messaging app that offers enhanced privacy and encryption features that allow a user’s texts or voice messages to self-destruct after review by a recipient.

In one meeting with Korsiak the undercover agent gave him $5,000 as expense money and a photograph and itinerary of the fictitious victim and said he would be in New York City during the week of March 6 and that’s when “the job” would have to be completed. They agreed to meet in Tarrytown on March 7, which was to be the day of the murder, where the agent said he would provide half of the $50,000 payment before the murder, and the remainder after. They later agreed to change the pre-murder meeting to March 8.

He allegedly met with an undercover FBI agent the night of March 8 and the agent handed him the $25,000 as partial payment for the murder-for-hire and told him the other half would be delivered to him after the murder. Shortly thereafter FBI agents arrested him. He was found to be carrying a loaded 9-millimeter pistol in a black holster and the $25,000 in cash the agent had handed him.

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