BTC Trail Thwarts Dark Web Murder Plot Feature Image
  • James Wan pleaded guilty to paying a hitman on the darknet with BItcoin to murder his girlfriend. 
  • Apparently, Wan had transferred $8,000 worth of BTC three times (to the wrong address) due to Bitcoin’s drop in price.
  • FBI successfully thwarted Wan’s attempt to hire a hitman, preventing any further destruction.

James Wan, a 54-year-old resident of Duluth, Georgia, has pleaded guilty to paying a hitman on the darknet with BItcoin to murder his girlfriend. Before anything tragic could happen, an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), successfully thwarted Wan’s attempt to hire the hitman to murder his girlfriend or cause more destruction.

According to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan, Wan accessed a dark web marketplace from his cellular phone on April 18, 2022, and submitted an order to have a hitman carry out the crime. The order contained detailed information about the victim, including her name, address, Facebook account, license plate, and car description. 

According to Wu Blockchain, Chinese crypto reporter Colin Wu’s X account, apparently, Wan had transferred $8,000 worth of BTC three times (to the wrong address) due to Bitcoin’s drop in price. He transferred another $1,200 Bitcoins and finally, the FBI found out. 

Wan’s plan was discovered when he contacted the marketplace’s administrator, expressing concern about a payment issue. The administrator’s subsequent investigation revealed the heinous plot, prompting the FBI to intervene immediately. Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley praised the agency’s diligent work, stating:

“Despite Wan’s attempts to conceal his deadly plan on the dark web, our team’s exceptional efforts ensured the safety of the intended victim. This case underscores the FBI’s unwavering commitment to preventing acts of violence and protecting our citizens.”

Upon learning of the threat to the victim’s life, FBI agents swiftly notified her, provided protection, and apprehended Wan. Wan admitted to placing the order, making the payments, and monitoring the order’s progress daily on the dark web marketplace. Records from Wan’s cellular phone and Bitcoin wallet corroborated his confession. Subsequently, Wan cancelled the order after speaking with FBI agents.

Wan’s guilty plea was entered in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Sentencing is scheduled for January 18, 2024, before U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May.

If convicted, Wan faces severe consequences under the criminal justice system.

Furthermore, U.S. Attorney Buchanan commended the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies, stating, “Wan’s case highlights the importance of vigilant investigative work and the dedication of our law enforcement partners in ensuring the safety and security of our communities.”