SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – A Florida KRQE News 13 man exposed in an investigation into fraudulent filing of deeds for Jeffrey Epstein’s ranch in New Mexico is now charged with hiring a hitman to cover up his crimes federal.
Mystery, money and sex scandals surround the sprawling Zorro ranch near Stanley, New Mexico, once owned by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Records show Epstein and the Zorro Trust bought the ranch from the Gary King family and then built a mansion there in the 1990s.
“We can only speculate and I have to tell you Gabrielle, my staff – this has been a difficult subject for us to broach, thinking about what state lands might have been used for,” said Stephanie Garcia Richard, commissioner New Mexico Land, to KRQE. News 13 during an interview in 2021. In 2019, she canceled the decades-long state lease agreement the state had with Epstein for the pastures.
The billionaire’s 33,339 square foot mansion has stood empty since Epstein died in a correctional facility three years ago. And in a bizarre twist last year, KRQE Investigates uncovered a mysterious warranty deed attached to the property.
KRQE News 13 discovered that Epstein’s $27.5 million Zorro ranch came with a bogus deed filed by ‘Love and Bliss Church’ in Santa Fe County. “These are the same people who filed a fraudulent warranty deed in Florida,” said Daniel Weiner, an attorney for Epstein’s estate.
The man behind the fake act is 24-year-old Florida resident Alexander Leszczynski. Florida records show he was arrested years ago for harassment and assault.
Federal indictment, murder for account
Then in April, he was charged with eight federal counts, including wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. Court records show he used fake charities like Love and Bliss Church to try to sell himself expensive properties across the country, including Epstein’s properties in New Mexico and Palm Beach.
“They think they can come in and maybe start selling bits and pieces of it and get away with it, and that would just perpetuate the fraud because new innocent owners would come in, give money to these people, then would be part of that scheme and don’t actually own that,” Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies explained.
“So I think it’s great that you caught him because hopefully you stopped him in his tracks,” Carmack-Altwies told KRQE last year.
A federal indictment shows Leszczynski also took advantage of the government’s Small Business Pandemic Relief Loan Program and obtained at least two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in 2020 and 2021. The first PPP loan given to Love and Bliss was for $97,700, and another for $98,210.
Investigators say Leszczynski attempted to deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in worthless checks into accounts he managed. Then on Thursday, the feds announced that Leszczynski had tried to hire a hitman to kill two witnesses in his case.
He now faces charges of murder-for-hire and obstruction of justice. Leszczynski is being held without bail in a Florida jail pending trial.
Leszczynski faces 20 years in federal prison for his last two charges. His defense lawyers have asked the court for a psychological evaluation to see if he is fit to stand trial, which is scheduled for December.