Gold trader, employee charged in wife's murder


By The Associated Press
via Yahoo News
Monday, September 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- A wealthy gold trader was charged Monday with paying one of his workers to arrange the stabbing death of the businessman's estranged wife, authorities said.

James Fayed, 45, is accused of conspiring with Jose Luis Moya, 47, and at least one other unidentified suspect in the killing of Fayed's wife in July. Both men are charged with murder and remained jailed without bail Monday.

Fayed allegedly paid Moya about $25,000 to arrange the killing of Pamela Fayed in a parking garage after she met with her husband and their attorneys regarding their divorce, according to a complaint filed by the Los Angeles district attorney's office.

Witnesses said Pamela Fayed, 45, was stabbed repeatedly and her throat was cut in front of several onlookers.

The Fayeds were fighting for control of their jointly owned precious metal business, Goldfinger Coin & Bullion Sales. James Fayed had been charged previously with illegal money transfers, but that case was dropped after the capital murder charges were filed.

Prosecutors alleged that weeks before the slaying, James Fayed and his company rented an SUV. The vehicle was driven to his ranch in Ventura County after the stabbing and Moya returned it the next day, the complaint said.

James Fayed's lawyer, Mark Werksman, denies the accusations.

"It's one thing for the district attorney to spin theories and it's quite another to prove a case in court," Werksman said. "We look forward to reviewing the evidence and ... seeking vindication for Mr. Fayed."

It was not immediately known if Moya had an attorney.

District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said she did not know what kind of work Moya did for James Fayed and declined to say whether other suspects were being sought.

Prosecutors said they will not decide whether to seek the death penalty until the case moves closer to trial.

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