“Unveiling the dark side of cryptocurrency: Doctor’s shocking guilty plea reveals the sinister world of Bitcoin transactions in a chilling murder-for-hire conspiracy.”
Dr. James Wan, a physician based in Georgia, recently pleaded guilty to using Bitcoin to organize a murder-for-hire plot on the dark web. Wan believed that the pseudonymous nature of Bitcoin would keep his sinister plan hidden, but he was mistaken. He sought the services of a hitman to stage his girlfriend’s death in a carjacking gone wrong.
Wan is currently awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled to take place in January 2024 in a federal court. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Wan’s involvement in the dark web began in April 2022. He meticulously arranged for his girlfriend’s murder, providing detailed information such as her Facebook account and vehicle description. The contract was to be finalized with multiple Bitcoin payments totaling around $24,200. However, Wan had to resend one of the payments because he used the wrong crypto wallet address.
Unfortunately for Wan, his plan did not go as smoothly as he had hoped. Initially, he tried to secure the murder-for-hire contract by transferring a 50% down payment worth approximately $8,000 in Bitcoin to an escrow wallet. However, this transaction went awry as the funds were sent to an incorrect wallet address.
A week later, Wan sent another $8,000 Bitcoin transaction to ensure that the escrow account had enough funds for the contract. He then started asking questions in the marketplace’s forum, inquiring about the progress and the timeline for completing the job.
Despite his impatience, the plot was never carried out. Wan’s dark web activities were discovered, and he was apprehended by law enforcement. Keri Farley, the Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, stated in a press release that Wan’s murderous plot was averted due to the exceptional work of their team. She added that Wan would face the full consequences of the criminal justice system.
This case is not the first instance of someone attempting to hire a hitman using Bitcoin. In 2021, the FBI charged a 41-year-old Utah man who paid $16,000 in Bitcoin for a double murder. Similarly, an Italian man transferred €10,000 ($12,000) in cryptocurrency to hire a hitman for an assault on his ex-girlfriend, specifying that he wanted acid thrown in her face without blinding her.
Earlier this year, a Nevada woman was sentenced to five years in prison for hiring a hitman with Bitcoin to kill her ex-husband. Another woman in Tennessee was indicted for attempting to hire a hitman through the dark web, with payment in Bitcoin, to kill the wife of a friend she met on Match.com.
These cases highlight the dark side of cryptocurrency and the potential misuse of digital currencies for illegal activities. While Bitcoin offers privacy and anonymity, it is not immune to law enforcement’s scrutiny and investigative efforts.