A podiatrist serving life in prison for having his business partner assassinated to collect $60,000 in life insurance was denied release for three years after refusing to speak with the parole board about the 1976 murder.
William Moalem, 73, also refused to be interviewed by the prison psychologist preparing a pre-hearing report for the Board of Parole Hearings. The board spoke with Moalem, who did answer questions other than direct queries about the crime, on Tuesday at the California Mens Colony State Prison at San Luis Obispo. The board found him unsuitable for another three years. The hearing was Moalem’s fourth since being imprisoned for the Oct. 13, 1976 murder.
Moalem’s podiatrist business partner, Benjamin Hurwitz, was fatally shot while driving on State Route 92 in Foster City. The case grew cold for 23 years until 1998 when Moalem’s former wife revealed he had hired bar bouncer Richard Quilopras to kill Hurwitz. Moalem, who had financial problems, was the beneficiary of Hurwitz’s $60,000 life insurance policy and in the process of buying his podiatry business.
Other men involved in the case also admitted having introduced Moalem to Quilopras and driven the hit man the night of the shooting.
Moalem was convicted of first-degree murder in 1999 but there was no special circumstance law in 1976 so he was not barred from parole eligibility. However, at sentencing, Judge Dale Hahn said Moalem should never be released from prison.
Quilopras, who was paid $6,000 to kill Hurwitz, also received a life sentence in the murder. Moalem’s wife testified against him and was given time served and probation for her accessory role helping to cover up the murder.
Moalem was last up for parole consideration in 2012 but put off the hearing until after he contested prison rules violations for allegedly possessing two R-rated movies and information on a thumb drive. The items are forbidden in prison.
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