Trial date set for Edmonton-area eye surgeon accused of murder plot
A trial date has been set for an Edmonton-area eye surgeon accused of plotting to kill his former brother-in-law and business partner.
Dr. Michael Mockovak, co-founder of the Clearly Lasik eye surgery centres, was willing to pay more than $100,000 to have two business partners killed, including Dr. Joseph King, who performs laser eye surgeries in Edmonton weekly.
Federal agents said Dr. Michael Mockovak attempted to hire the Russian mafia to carry out the hit.
Mockovak was in Seattle court late last year where he pleaded not guilty two counts of criminal solicitation to commit first-degree-murder. King also showed up to court asking the judge to not grant Mockovak bail.
The judge implemented a restraining order, having Mockovac stay a half-mile away from King. He also lowered the accused killer's bail from $3 million to $2 million.
Prosecutors said King and Mockovak co-founded Clearly Lasik eye surgery centres across Western Canada and the northwestern United States.
When profits sank in 2008, the doctors fired several employees, prompting former company president Brad Klock to file a complaint in court.
Mockovak responded by asking a Russian-born employee for mafia connections as he wanted King and Klock "eliminated," according to court documents. The employee reported Mockovak to the FBI.
Documents also showed that King had taken out as $5-million insurance policy that listed either Mockovak or Clearly Lasik as beneficiaries. It also said Mockovak wanted King's death to look like an accident and suggested drowning as a method while King was on vacation in Australia.
Mockovak called King "greedy" for his apparent plans to split the company and thought King was taking advantage of him, this according to the documents.
Mockovak's trial is set to take place in Seattle in January of 2011.
With files from KOMO News Seattle