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Maryland insurance executive plotted to kill judge: court documents

By John Clarke

ANNAPOLIS Md. (Reuters) - A Maryland executive charged with lying to insurance regulators was allegedly plotting to kill a judge handling his case, according to federal court documents.

Searches of the home, office and vehicle of Jeffrey Cohen turned up extensive evidence of the alleged plot and a cache of weapons, according to the documents filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Federal prosecutors at the U.S. Attorney's office said on Tuesday they were investigating the findings from the searches.

Cohen has not been charged in connection with the latest allegations.

Cohen, 39, former president of the Indemnity Insurance Corp, was arrested in June and charged with lying to Delaware insurance regulators.

In the searches, federal agents found a digital recorder that Cohen allegedly used to record what agents believe was a reconnaissance mission to the home of a judge presiding over the liquidation of Cohen's business and another person identified in the court documents only as an elected official.

"Society needs to look at the fact that killing isn't wrong in certain circumstances, and killing culls the weak," Cohen said in the recording, according to the court documents. "Killing culls the wrong so that society can have a better chance of survival without certain obstacles."

Agents also discovered weapons including a precision rifle with a scope, a shotgun, another rifle and four handguns, the documents said.

They also found an alleged target list of Maryland and Delaware government employees and searches for hostage negotiation techniques and bomb device information on his iPad, according to the documents.

Authorities said Cohen was planning to use homeless people to carry explosives in backpacks to attack his targets, according to the documents.

Cohen is being held in jail on the initial charges and was unavailable for comment. He has switched public defenders several times and is now representing himself, according to court documents.

A federal grand jury indicted Cohen last month on charges that he falsely claimed to Delaware insurance regulators that his company had $5.1 million in a bank.

His company insured more than 3,000 policyholders, mostly bars and nightclubs, across the nation.

(Reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Eric Beech)

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