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20 Years for Surgeon Who Plotted Murder

SEATTLE (CN) - An eye surgeon who was convicted of trying to hire the Russian Mafia to kill his business partner has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of Clearly Lasik eye clinics, was convicted in February of hatching a plan to murder his business partner and former brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph King, for the insurance money.

The FBI recorded Mockovak giving $10,000 to an informant who was supposed to arrange the murder by a hit man with the "Russian Mafia," prosecutors said. The informant was a Russian employee who worked at the clinic. He contacted the FBI after Mockovak asked him to find mob contacts who could "resolve his problem" with King.

Mockovak gave the informant a picture of King for the "hit man" and said he wanted the murder to look like a drowning during King's vacation to Australia. Mockovak added that he "probably needed the body found for insurance purposes," prosecutors said.

A King County jury found Mockovak guilty of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and attempted first-degree theft. He was acquitted of a second murder-for-hire scheme involving former Clearly Lasik president Brad Klock.

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