TOTOWA, N.J. (AP) — The manager of a popular New Jersey diner who felt he wasn't getting his fair share of the profits tried to have a hit man kill his uncle, who co-owns the restaurant and a second diner in New York City, authorities said Wednesday.
Georgios Spyropoulos, the 45-year-old manager of the Tick Tock diner in Clifton, asked an undercover trooper posing as a hit man to kill Alexandros Sgourdos and to get rid of the body so it couldn't be found, authorities said.
The 57-year-old uncle also manages the other Tick Tock diner, a popular tourist spot across the street from Penn Station, in Manhattan.
Authorities said Spyropoulos resented the control his uncle exerted over the New Jersey restaurant, which was featured on Guy Fieri's Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They said he also felt his uncle was taking an unfair share of the profits.
"I think it's an understatement to say they weren't close," Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa told a news conference.
Spyropoulos was being held in lieu of $1 million bail on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a weapon. A message was left for his attorney.
Chiesa said investigators believe Spyropoulos was motived by greed and wanted to steal a large amount of cash that his uncle kept in a safe.
Spyropoulos told the undercover officer, Chiesa said, to make sure to get the combination to his uncle's safe before killing him. Spyropoulos suggested the undercover officer kidnap the uncle from his Clifton home and torture him until he gave up the combination, Chiesa said.
The nephew provided the officer with a $3,000 down payment, a photo of his uncle, a map of his home and his daily schedule, including how he parked his car, authorities said. He also allegedly provided an unregistered handgun.
"Once I leave here today, this is on," authorities say the undercover officer told the owner's nephew during an April 2 meeting.
The total payment for the killing and disposal of the body was to be $20,000.