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To kill or not to kill? Feds arrest a Hamlet hiring a hit man

Sun-Times file photo

Lyle Anastos waffled about hiring the hit man, the feds say. For a moment.

Anastos, a 35-year-old real estate executive from Oak Lawn, allegedly considered committing the murders himself “and then eating a bullet when I’m done.”

But in the end, Anastos signed a $5,000 trailer over to a man who had promised to use his family’s mob connections to hire an assassin, prosecutors say. That man asked Anastos if he understood that made the fatal deal final. Anastos allegedly said that’s what he wanted — and he wanted to see some pictures.

Now Anastos is in federal custody for the alleged murder-for-hire plot that targeted his grandmother’s new husband and that man’s northwest suburban attorney. On covert recordings, Anastos allegedly said of the attorney, “that guy needs to go. Get rid of that motherf—er. He has no reason to exist. Period.” But Anastos also fretted that authorities would trace the plot back to him.

The feds say Anastos ultimately confessed to plotting to have the attorney killed. He appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert. He winked to supporters in the courtroom gallery as he was led back into the lock-up.

The feds point to a Cook County lawsuit filed by the attorney on behalf of Anastos’ grandmother’s new husband over an $880,000 demand note connected to 13 suburban properties. It led to a $908,172 judgment against Anastos. And in September, a judge ordered him to turn over $227,636 he made from the sale of a property in Michigan.

Around the same time, an unnamed cooperating source visited the FBI in Indiana to report that Anastos wanted to find someone to commit murder. The source also turned himself in to authorities on fraud charges in Lake County, Ind., and he was held there until he was taken to the Will County Jail.

The FBI then persuaded Will County prosecutors not to seek additional bond for the source, so he could be released and have more conversations with Anastos. The feds say Anastos picked the source up from the jail on Sept. 23. Afterward, the source brought up the plot while wearing a wire. Anastos allegedly said, “I’m interested” and said “I’d like to see those two f—ing go.”

When the source reminded him that murder is “one thing you can’t turn back on,” Anastos allegedly told him, “I’m totally fine with that. I just can’t have anything come back to me.”

On Friday, Anastos allegedly told the source that the attorney is “the catalyst” to the lawsuit and that “I’m 99 percent sure he’s the one that has to do with the FBI.” He also said the murders had to occur in a week, or “this is all not worth it.”

Finally, on Tuesday, Anastos allegedly said he was thinking about putting his truck up for collateral but then asked for a loan. He told the source he was “completely f—ed” financially and said he was thinking about committing the double murder himself before committing suicide, so his wife could collect life insurance.

But later in the day, Anastos allegedly told the source by phone that he would post a dump trailer worth “every bit of five grand” as collateral for the hit man, and he later handed over the title.