An in-law of the du Pont multimillionaires was charged yesterday with conspiring to murder his stepson's girlfriend, who was beaten and strangled in Las Vegas by hit men -- possibly in an attempt to shut her out of the family's vast fortune, federal agents said.
Christopher L. Moseley, 58, was arrested by FBI agents at the lavish Fieldstone Golf Club in Greenville, Del., just hours before the club's inaugural dinner.
Moseley's wife, Lisa Dean Moseley, is a direct descendant of the founder of the DuPont Co. and owns the 183 acres of land the course is built on.
Moseley is charged in connection with the murder of Patricia Margello, whose body was found Aug. 5 in the air-conditioning vent of a Las Vegas motel.
Margello was the girlfriend of Dean MacGuigan, Moseley's 41-year-old stepson, according to FBI officials in Baltimore, who are investigating the case.
Joe Hurley, a Wilmington, Del., lawyer representing Moseley, said last night that he had just learned of the arrest and did not know of any details surrounding the investigation.
"Obviously this is regrettable, and it is too soon to make any further comments," Hurley said.
Peter A. Gulotta Jr., an FBI spokesman, said Moseley is charged with conspiracy in connection with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire.
Gulotta would not comment on how Moseley is alleged to have arranged the murder but said such a charge can be filed if a person suspected in a killing is believed to have used a telephone or other means of interstate commerce in commission of a crime.
The FBI in Baltimore, which investigated the case because the Maryland field office handles federal crimes committed in Delaware, released few details about the case last night. But a possible motive in Margello's killing is financial, investigators said.
Many du Pont family members -- and often, those who marry into the family -- are worth millions. An FBI official said last night that Moseley and his wife have a worth well over $20 million.
MacGuigan was one of the principals involved in the formation of the new golf club, where employees and family members were gathering yesterday when FBI agents arrested Moseley at noon.
Some wept as he was taken away in handcuffs, authorities said.
Three people have been charged in Nevada with Margello's killing.
The FBI identified them as Diana Hironaga, Ricardo Murillo, and Joseph Balignasa, who are each charged with murder or conspiracy to commit murder.
The charge against Moseley is the latest scandal to rock the du Pont family, one of the richest in the country and recently beset by scandal.
Last year, John du Pont, 58, one of the family heirs, was sentenced to 13 years to 30 years for fatally shooting an Olympic wrestler at his suburban Philadelphia training compound.
John du Pont suffered delusions that he was the Dalai Lama and a spy for the CIA.
Jurors found that du Pont was guilty of third-degree murder but was mentally ill when he fired the gunshots.
Pub Date: 9/18/98