Atlanta Doctor Who Used Bitcoin Payment in Murder-for-Hire Plot Pleads Guilty

In a chilling twist of digital-age crime, James Wan, a 54-year-old physician from Georgia, has pleaded guilty to hiring a hitman via the dark web to murder his girlfriend. Wan paid over $25,000 in Bitcoin to complete the murder plot.

The FBI thwarted the murder plot, secured the safety of the intended victim, and extracted a confession from Wan. They then charged Wan with using a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire.

Bitcoin Payments Lead to Arrest in Murder Plot

“Wan used the dark web to conceal his deadly plan,” said US Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, also added,

“Despite his cowardly concealment on the dark web, Wan’s cold-hearted murderous plot was averted due to the exceptional work of our team. He will now face the full consequences of the criminal justice system.”

All in all, the Atlanta-based doctor used Bitcoin to pay approximately $25,200 for the hitman’s services. The FBI learned about the threat to the victim’s life, provided her protection, and questioned Wan.

Surprisingly, he admitted that he placed the order, made the payments, and checked the order’s status daily on the online marketplace.

Fake Bitcoin payment for murder websites fool criminals

Bitcoin Not as Annonymous as Many Think

In another similar story, a New Jersey man pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count of knowingly and intentionally using a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, intending that a murder be committed.

He arranged for a murder-for-hire via a fake dark web assassin website. He paid approximately 40 Bitcoins (around $20,000 at the time) for the murder in May of 2016.

Many lambaste Bitcoin for playing a part in these crimes. However, many also don’t realize that criminals got caught because of Bitcoin’s pseudonymity.

Read more: Anonymity vs. Pseudonymity: Understanding the Key Differences

The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are stepping up their efforts to crack down on such heinous acts of violence and protect citizens from these emerging threats.

As authorities continue their pursuit of justice, these cases serve as a stark reminder of the dark side of technology.


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