FBI Arrests 2 Fla. Men In Kidnap Plot Over Poker Losses

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) – The FBI has arrested two men in Palm Beach County for allegedly plotting a kidnapping partly as revenge for one suspect’s poker losses.

Investigators identified the pair as 50-year-old Michael James Melillo and 38-year-old Pavlos Kaimacliotis. Both were jailed Thursday awaiting a bail hearing Friday.

The FBI says Melillo planned to kidnap an unidentified wealthy Palm Beach Gardens man because he lost $100,000 at poker and to provide for his young son. Based on informants’ tips, the FBI inserted undercover agents posing as a fellow kidnapper and as the planned victim’s wife.

The FBI even staged a photograph showing the intended victim in restraints so Melillo would think the kidnapping took place.

No attorney was listed in court records for Melillo. Kaimacliotis’s lawyer didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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