A Chicago man accused of soliciting the murder of his former business partner told an undercover police officer to make the killing look like an accident, DuPage County authorities said Friday.
Michael Pilney, 38, of the 1700 block of North Cleveland Avenue, was indicted this week on charges of solicitation of murder for hire and possession of cocaine and ecstasy. If convicted, he could face up to 60 years in prison.
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Authorities said Pilney wanted the murder committed because his partner had cost their business money. They said a confidential informant tipped off Elmhurst police, who put an officer undercover to act as a hit man.
During negotiations in May, Pilney gave the officer nearly seven pounds of cocaine and about 11 pounds of powder ecstasy as payment, according to prosecutors, who said he wanted the murder to "look like an accident."
He was arrested on preliminary charges when he returned four days later to make sure the killing was done and to discuss further drug deals, authorities said.
Pilney has no criminal background and is free on an $80,000 cash bond. He was ordered to surrender his passport and submit to court monitoring while the case is pending.
Authorities haven't disclosed the nature of his business. Police seized a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria and $7,500 as a result of the investigation, court records show.
Pilney's could not immediately be reached for comment Friday. Arraignment is set for Monday in front of DuPage Judge George Bakalis.