Date: 2021-12-12 14:37:56
MIAMI — A federal jury convicted a South Florida man of violently kidnapping a plastic surgeon who treated his wife and later torturing the man with a blowtorch inside a storage warehouse in an attempt to extort money from him.
Serge Nkorina, 56, was found guilty of conspiring to commit kidnapping and kidnapping, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida said in a news release Friday.
Nkorina, a U.S. citizen who was extradited from Spain in January, faces a maximum term of life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 15, 2022, the Miami Herald reported.
Nkorina’s attorney, Omar F. Guerra Johansson, said Nkorina will appeal the verdict, WPLG-TV reported.
“This case was a hard-fought trial, and the jury deliberated for four hours,” Johansson said in a statement.
Nkorina was accused of partnering with another South Florida man, Justin Boccio, 34, of Deerfield Beach. Boccio already pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, the Herald reported.
Federal prosecutors said that from late 2018 to early 2019, Nkorina and Boccio plotted to kidnap and torture Nader Shehata, 63, in an attempt to obtain tens of thousands of dollars from him. The men stalked the surgeon and placed a GPS tracker under his vehicle, prosecutors said. They also purchased devices from hardware and medical supply stores and rented a storage unit in Margate.
Prosecutors said that on Jan. 14, 2019, Nkorina and Boccio abducted Shehata in the parking lot of a Walmart near his Hallandale Beach medical office, the Herald reported. The men shocked Shehata’s neck with a stun gun and put him into a van.
Prosecutors said Nkorina and Boccio took Shehata to the storage unit, where they tortured him. Nkorina burned Shehata’s hands with a blowtorch, forcing him to reveal security gate and door codes to his home, prosecutors said.
When the men went to Shehata’s home, they were scared off by a light connected to a doorbell camera, according to prosecutors. Nkorina and Boccio then scrapped the plan and dumped Shehata in the parking lot of a strip club, the Cheetah Gentlemen’s Club in Hallandale Beach, the Herald reported.
Shehata survived the kidnapping but died on April 5, 2021, according to his obituary.
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