The ex-chief executive of a Los Angeles medical marketing firm could be sentenced to federal prison Thursday for attempting to hire a hit man to kill a business colleague.
David Phillips, 37, the former head of NKP Medical Marketing, was found guilty in November of arranging the murder-for-hire plot, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The intended victim — who was not harmed — was identified in court papers only by the initials S.F. He helped Phillips run the business, which provides online marketing strategies for cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists, until they had a blowup about four years ago, court papers show.
Before his arrest in a sting operation, Phillips met with the supposed hit man at NKP’s offices. Agents had provided a staged photograph showing the intended victim with what appeared to be bruises and a gunshot wound.
Agents of Homeland Security Investigations in New Orleans and Los Angeles investigated the case. Two co-defendants of Phillips’ were charged in New Orleans federal court with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and use of interstate commerce facilities to solicit a murder-for-hire.
Phillips was tried in Los Angeles due to his medical condition, described in court papers as terminal kidney disease. Prosecutors are asking U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin to impose a 10-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine, while the defense is requesting a period of home confinement and community service.
A federal prosecutor wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Phillips’ offense was “egregious, dangerous, and warrants the maximum statutory sentence.”