Prosecutors are accusing a woman from Nevada of paying $5000 in Bitcoin for the murder of her ex-husband. To hire the hitman, the woman used a dark web marketplace where Bitcoin payments were accepted. The dark web marketplace turned out to be a bitcoin scam.
Details of The Hire For Murder Plot
According to court documents, Kristy Lynn Felkins, a 35-year-old from Fallon, Nevada, paid $5000 in Bitcoin through a fake dark web marketplace that has since been shut down. She believed that she could hire a hitman via the marketplace to kill her ex-husband who was living in Durham, North Carolina, at the time. At the time she reached out to the site, she was living in Scotia, California.
Federal investigators apprehended Felkins when they were given a tipoff about the site. They managed to track down Felkins via her Bitcoin transactions. They also found incriminating messages sent via the fake dark web marketplace that incriminated her.
The murder plot started in 2016 according to the court documents. Felkins got in touch with someone on the site via a Tor web browser. The site told Felkins that if she wanted to keep her transactions private, she would need to launder her Bitcoin by trading it with various sellers on LocalBitcoins.com, a P2P marketplace.
Felkins Proceeds With Murder Plot Despite Doubts
Court documents show that Fekins was initially wary of the scam site. She even asked at some point if they were FBI. Felkins also pointed out that the FBI could track down transactions. However, Felkins went ahead with the transactions and sent 12 BTC between March 6, 2016, and March 9, which was in an effort to have her ex-husband killed outside his place of work.
Felkins asked the site to make the murder look like a mugging gone wrong. When she was told that it would cost her $4000 more, she requested that it proceed as planned where her ex-husband would just be shot.
On the scam site, Felkins claimed that she wanted the man killed for being mentally, physically, and sexually abusive. She claims that when she ran away, he took her kids away from her. Felkins also claimed that he was threatening the physical wellbeing of the children. Additionally, Felkins claimed that he was quite a snake and a master manipulator.
When Felkins asked about the progress of the murder plot, the site told her that they could not find him at his place of work. Felkins asked for proof that they visited his workplace. She was then sent a dodgy photo taken close to the location. It quickly became evident that this dark web marketplace was running a bitcoin scam.
Felkins stopped communicating with the site in April 2016. It was not until 2019 that authorities learned about the murder plot. After investigations, they indicted Felkins on Thursday, September 24, 2020.
The dark web has long been used for illegal activities. However, authorities have been improving their ability to track down criminals who use crypto, as demonstrated in this case. These tracking abilities will get better over time, which will make it less lucrative for criminals to use crypto.