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Crime News Murder For Hire

Eye Surgeon Asks Russian IT Manager To Arrange Murder Of Business Partner

Dr. Michael Mockovak asked Daniel Kultin if his “so-called Russian connections [could] organize a murder.”

By Aly Vander Hayden
Murder for Hire: Eye Surgeon Dr. Michael Mockovak Loses Control

While working as the IT Manager of Clearly Lasik, an eye surgery chain with locations throughout the Pacific Northwest and Canada, Daniel Kultin was described by his co-workers as a bit closed-off and intimidating.

“His personality was very, very private,” Clearly Lasik’s USA Center Director Sheree Funkhouser told “Murder for Hire,” which airs Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen. “Eventually, we got to the point where we made up a story of how he worked for the Russian mafia.”

The story soon became a running joke at the office, but somehow, Kultin’s boss, Dr. Michael Mockovak, took the association seriously. Kultin said that as he and Mockovak began spending more time together, Mockovak asked him if his “so-called Russian connections [could] organize a murder.”

Kutlin told “Murder for Hire” that Mockovak first expressed an interest in killing Clearly Lasik’s former CEO, Brad Klock, who had filed a wrongful termination lawsuit seeking approximately $750,000 in damages. Mockovak then approached Kultin about hiring a hitman to murder his business partner and brother-in-law, Dr. Joseph King, who was considering splitting up the company due to financial setbacks following the 2008 recession.

Mockovak revealed that, if King died, he would be able to collect millions of dollars from King’s life insurance policy.

Terrified, Kultin reached out to one of his friends who had a contact at the FBI’s Seattle field office. Kultin agreed to become an undercover informant and wear a hidden recording device to capture footage of Mockovak ordering the hits.

The two met multiple times throughout fall 2009, and during a dinner on Nov. 6, Mockovak laid out how and when he wanted King killed. Mockovak explained that King, his wife, Holly, and their three young children would be going on a vacation to Australia, and that the hit could take place overseas to lower the chances of the murder being traced back to him.

Kultin said his Russian connections could make the killing look like a street robbery, ocean drowning or random shooting, to which Mockovak replied, “Drowning in the ocean’s not bad.”

“You know why?” said Mockovak. “He’s gonna be running on the beach … Well, obviously [Holly is] gonna be watching the kids, and that’ll be the opportunity.”

When asked if he wanted the body to be found, Mockovak said yes, explaining, “It’s probably better if it’s found, just for the insurance purposes.”

The following day, Mockovak provided Kultin with a King family photograph, a flight itinerary and $10,000 for the hit, promising to pay an additional $15,000 once the murder was complete. Mockovak was then arrested and charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, along with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree theft and attempted first-degree theft, reported The Seattle Times.

Mockovak was found guilty of all charges except the solicitation to murder Brad Klock, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, according to The Seattle Times.

To learn more about Mockovak’s deadly plot, watch “Murder for Hire” on Oxygen.

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