updated 8/22/2008 2:27:21 PM ET 2008-08-22T18:27:21

New York authorities accuse a 35-year-old man of trying to hire someone to kill his wife and cut off her hand with a samurai sword to get her $27,000 diamond wedding ring.

The hit man was an undercover officer, police said.

Rockefeller Auguste was arrested Thursday at his Manhattan office on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Auguste, a designer at an architectural firm, suspected his wife was cheating, police said. He gave the undercover officer a samurai sword and a deposit, police said.

Auguste was awaiting arraignment Friday. It was unknown if he had a lawyer. A woman who answered the phone early Friday at his home said she had no comment. She said she was his sister but declined to give her name.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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