Tick Tock Diner manager arrested in murder-for-hire plot

April 10, 2013 2:43:15 PM PDT
Georgios Spyropoulos, the 45-year-old manager of the Tick Tock diner in Clifton, New Jersey, is accused of asking an undercover state trooper posing as a hit man to kill his uncle and to get rid of the body so it couldn't be found. His uncle co-owns the restaurants in Clifton and Manhattan.

Georgios Spyropoulos, 45, of Clifton is charged with conspiracy to commit murder and related offenses, New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said.

According to Chiesa, Spyropoulos planned to have his uncle tortured, robbed and murder, enlisting two men who he thought would carry out the crime.

His uncle, 57-year-old Alexandros Sgourdos, co-owns the restaurant in Clifton and the family's other Tick Tock Diner in Manhattan.

After getting a tip from a confidential source, a state trooper went undercover as a would-be hitman, officials said. On April 2, investigators said Georgios Spyropoulos provided the "hired killer" with an unregistered handgun, a photo of the intended target, his address and a down payment of $3000.

He also asked the hitman to get Alexandros Sgourdos to divulge the combination of a safe in his office. Investigators believe that he hoped to steal a large amount of cash that he believed was located in his uncle's safe.

Authorities said Spyropoulos resented the control his uncle exerted over the New Jersey restaurant, which was featured on Guy Fieri's Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." They said he also felt his uncle was taking an unfair share of the profits.

"I think it's an understatement to say they weren't close," Chiesa told a news conference on Wednesday.

Police arrested Georgios Spyropoulos on Tuesday. They also seized multiple weapons and cell phones from his home and vehicle.

He is held on $1-million full cash bail