Thursday, July 18, 2024
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A Georgia-based physician has admitted to plotting to have his girlfriend killed, using the anonymity of the dark web and Bitcoin payments. Despite an initial blunder of transferring $8,000 in Bitcoin to the wrong wallet, James Wan persisted in his deadly plans, making three more payments that added up to $17,200.

Law enforcement agencies effectively disrupted the plot, which had a projected cost exceeding $25,000 in Bitcoin.

Doctor’s Desperation Grows Amid Payment Errors and Delays

The U.S. Department of Justice disclosed that James Wan, a 54-year-old medical doctor hailing from Georgia, resorted to the dark web to plan the killing of his girlfriend. According to the DOJ, Wan reached out to a hitman through a dark web marketplace on April 12, 2022.

He transferred $8,000 in Bitcoin to an escrow account as an initial payment and provided extensive information about his girlfriend to facilitate the murder.

Wan’s first attempt went awry as he mistakenly sent the $8,000 to a wrong Bitcoin address. Unfazed by the mistake, he corrected it by sending another $8,000 to the proper account. With no updates forthcoming, his impatience started to mount, leading him to send a third payment of $8,000 and specifically instructing the hitman to disguise the killing as an accidental death.

Growing restless, Wan inquired about the status of the hit, asking, “What’s the status of the completion of the job? I’ve placed the order; how quickly will it be executed? Is there any way to track progress, or are there any local contacts?”

To offset a decline in Bitcoin’s value, he supplemented the escrow account with an additional $1,200 on May 10, 2022, ensuring the full sum for the contract killing remained in place.

Court documents disclosed that Wan had used his mobile phone to access the dark web marketplace. He furnished personal details about his girlfriend, including her name, home address, social media accounts, vehicle license plate, and even a description of her car.

FBI Foils Physician’s Dark Web Plot Funded by Bitcoin

In a laudable operation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation put an end to James Wan’s nefarious plans. The medical doctor from Georgia, after initiating the murderous contract on a dark web platform, eventually admitted to his criminal activities and revoked the order.

Keri Farley, the Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, praised the team’s efforts, stating, “Despite Wan’s attempt to remain hidden on the dark web, our excellent teamwork put a stop to his appalling scheme.”

Wan has since entered a guilty plea to one count of utilizing an interstate facility in a murder-for-hire plot. His sentencing is scheduled for January 18, 2024, and will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May.

Rising Trend of Bitcoin-Funded Assassination Attempts Raises Alarm

Regrettably, the case of James Wan is not unique but rather indicative of a larger, concerning pattern. Last year in August, a woman in Mississippi received a decade-long prison term for spending $10,000 in Bitcoin in an effort to have her husband killed.

The string of incidents continues: another medical professional was handed an eight-year sentence for using Bitcoin to finance a $60,000 scheme aimed at kidnapping his wife and attacking a former colleague.

Further amplifying concerns, another individual was sentenced to six years in prison for commissioning a hit on a child, also paid for in Bitcoin.

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Johnathan DoeCoin

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