A Pinellas beaches man who federal authorities say tried to steal millions in various fraud schemes, then created a fake pardon from former President Donald Trump and tried to hire a “hitman” to kill witnesses, has been ordered to spend more than 35 years in federal prison.
Alexander Leszczynski, 25, of North Redington Beach was charged in April 2022 with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Leszczynski was accused of using fictitious charitable entities — including one called Love & Bliss Inc. — to take part in a number of schemes. One fraud included applying for and receiving two Payroll Protection Plan loans totaling about $196,000. He also was involved in a check kiting scheme and tried to deposit $2.7 million in worthless checks into the Love & Bliss business account, the government said.
After the launch of an investigation, the government seized $337,000 from one of Leszczynski’s accounts.
“When he discovered that the money had been frozen, he attempted to have it released by producing a fabricated pardon purportedly signed by former President Donald Trump,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release upon his arrest.
The government said Leszczynski was involved in another scheme in which he tried to deed himself properties around the country that were valued at more than $300 million. When the real owners of the properties and their lawyers tried to correct the fraudulent deeds, Leszczynski “responded by sending harassing and threatening letters, emails, and faxes,” the news release states.
A 2021 story in the Daily Beast reported that Leszczynski’s Love & Bliss Inc. portrayed itself to be a Christian nonprofit that was trying to seize control of two properties that had belonged to Jeffrey Epstein, who died by suicide in jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. The properties were Epstein’s since-demolished mansion in Palm Beach and a ranch in New Mexico, according to the Daily Beast report.
The case got even stranger in October 2022, when he was indicted for trying to hire a “hitman” to kill two government witnesses against him. He was charged with murder for hire and obstruction of justice.
Leszczynski told a confidential informant he had $45,000 at his home to pay a hitman, according to a U.S. Attorney’s news release, and believed killing the informants would mean the government would have to drop his fraud case. The informant put Leszczynski in touch with an undercover agent who pretended to be a hitman.
He pleaded guilty to the murder-for-hire and obstruction charges in June and has now been sentenced by U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. to 17 years and six months in prison.
That sentence will be served consecutively to the 17 years and six months he received on the fraud charges. He pleaded guilty to those charges last November.
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The sentences combined consecutively add up to just over 35 years.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said his antics have continued even after his guilty pleas.
“Since he pleaded guilty in both cases, Leszczynski has written numerous letters — intercepted by the United States — attempting to solicit and threaten others to come forward and fraudulently take responsibility for his crimes,” federal prosecutors said in a news release on Monday.
Material from Times archives is included in this report.