AP source: NY fraudster tried to get witness slain

By JENNIFER PELTZ | October 6, 2011 | 1:10 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — A person familiar with the case says a man convicted of leading a $100 million mortgage fraud scheme has tried from a New York prison to have a key witness against him killed.

The person says former AFG Financial Group Inc. President Aaron Hand is to be arraigned in Manhattan Thursday on attempted murder and other charges. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the case before the arraignment.

The person says Hand agreed to pay $2,000 to an undercover investigator posing as a hit man.

The Manhattan district attorney's office declined to comment but was expected to make an announcement later Thursday.

Hand's former lawyer said through his office he hadn't been aware of the new case. It was first reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal.