The former NYPD cop accused of targeting her estranged husband and her boyfriend’s teenage daughter in a grisly murder-for-hire plot was sentenced to four years in prison Friday.
Valerie Cincinelli, who resigned from her job in the force, expressed remorse in Manhattan federal court before she was sentenced on an obstruction of justice charge as part of her plea deal for the alleged scheme in 2019.
“I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I was wrong. I accept responsibility,” Cincinelli, wearing a brown jumpsuit, told the court.
During the hearing, Cincinelli and her lawyer, James Kousorous, argued that her boyfriend, John DiRubba, was a conman who had convinced her to take part in the plot in which she allegedly paid him $7,000 to contract a hitman.
She claimed that she believed DiRubba was going to hire the hitman to assassinate her estranged husband, Isaiah Carvalho Jr., and DiRubba’s own 15-year-old daughter.
But she maintained that she never anticipated that the hit was going to actually happen.
“I did what I know I should not have done. I was deeply, deeply damaged at that time. Destroyed, Your Honor. I’ve lost so much during this process,” she said.
DiRubba confessed to the bizarre murder-for-hire plot and began working as a confidential source for the FBI, claiming that his cop-girlfriend wanted her hubby dead amid a bitter divorce and custody battle.
Cincinelli was arrested in May 2019 and hammered out a plea deal earlier this year that dropped two counts of murder-for-hire against her.
Her estranged husband, Carvalho, slammed the deal as a “free pass.”
“When I found out about the plea I was furious. I thought she was being given a free pass. I truly believe she will find someone to finish the job [when she gets out],” Carvalho told the court.
Carvalho asked the judge to give the maximum sentence, arguing that his ex-wife is a “narcissistic sociopath” and a “master manipulator.”
He said when they were first married Valerie was a “fun-loving person who devoted her life to protecting people.”
As their relationship went on, he said he “saw another side that was her true self.”
“Someone who is cruel, selfish. She became verbally abusive and physically abusive. The only thing that mattered to her were material objects, material wants,” he said.
Prosecutors pointed to videos and audiotapes in which Cincinelli appeared “frustrated the murders have not yet been completed” and came off as “someone who only cares about herself.”
“It’s made all the more reprehensible because she was a police officer,” Assistant US Attorney Catherine Mirabile said.
In handing down the sentence, United States District Judge Joanna Seybert said she agreed with prosecutors that the murder-for-hire was “plotted” by the former officer.
“Ms. Cincinelli, with all the love you have from your family it shocks me you still play the victim,” Seybert said.
Seybert noted that other defendants are typically from broken homes, drug addicts and other troubled circumstances.
“You made a very nice salary. You don’t have an addiction,” Seybert said.