Eye surgeon convicted of attempting to have his business partner killed

A Newcastle laser eye surgeon was convicted Thursday of attempting to hire a hit man to kill his former business partner.

Dr. Michael Mockovak was convicted of criminal solicitation to commit murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. According to The Seattle Times, sentencing will be Feb. 17.

Mockovak was found to have solicited a fellow employee of Clearly Lasik, a company he co-founded, to set him up with a hit man to kill Dr. Joseph King, his business partner, and Brad Klock, the company's former president.

Mockovak reached out to Daniel Kultin, a recent Russian immigrant, in 2009 with the hope that the employee would connect him with a Russian mobster who could take out Mockovak's partners following an ownership dispute.

Kultin immediately contacted the FBI and became an informant on the case. According to court documents, Mockovak planned to pay the assassin $25,000, while Kultin would earn $100,000 for putting the plan together.

Mockovak supplied a photo of King and his family to Kultin. Mockovak provided him with details about King's vacation travel and exercise habits. He also discussed how he wanted the murder to take place, and he gave details about the life-insurance policy on King.

Klock was terminated from his position at Clearly Lasik in January 2009 and had filed a civil action contesting the termination. Court documents state that Klock's ongoing dispute played a major role in Mockovak wanting him "eliminated."

Defense lawyers argued throughout Mockovak's two-week trial that the whole thing was just a joke, and that he was a victim of entrapment.

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