A Philadelphia real-estate developer who had been a cooperating witness with the feds has been indicted on charges that he contracted to have someone kill two people and maim another.

Manh Huu "Bruce" Doan, 38, a prominent Vietnamese businessman from South Philadelphia, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire for arranging to pay an unidentified person to commit the murders, according to an indictment released yesterday.

The intended targets were involved in a civil lawsuit in connection with Doan, including their Philadelphia lawyer, Anthony Quinn, according to a source familiar with the case.

Doan told the person who was to commit the murders to buy a gun in New Jersey and agreed to pay cash and arrange for housing in exchange for the murders, according to the indictment.

In 2002, Doan was sentenced to 12 months and a day in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges of bank fraud. He also pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy, wire fraud and related charges and was awaiting sentencing when he was arrested in the murder case.

One of the attorneys representing Doan, William J. Brennan, said that Doan is not a violent man.

"In the dozen or so years that I've been representing him, he's never been charged with a violent crime, only economic crimes," said Brennan, co-counsel with Jeffery Miller. "This is totally out of character."

If convicted, Doan faces a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. *