A Georgia doctor has admitted to hiring a hitman on the dark web to kill his girlfriend, using Bitcoin as the payment method. James Wan, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Georgia, Wan accessed a dark web marketplace from his cell phone on April 18, 2022, and submitted an order to have his girlfriend murdered. He provided the victim’s name, address, Facebook account, license plate, and car description. He also instructed the hitman to either shoot and go or take the car.
50% down payment of approximately $8,000 to wrong address
Wan then transferred a 50% down payment of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the dark web marketplace. However, he made a mistake and sent the money to the wrong address, losing it in the process. He realized his error two days later and contacted the marketplace administrator. He then sent another $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the correct address.
The administrator confirmed the payment and asked Wan whether he wanted the murder done as an accident or a normal shooting. Wan replied that an accident was better. A week later, on April 29, 2022, Wan transferred another payment of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the marketplace to complete the order. He also posted a message on the dark web forum, asking how soon the work should be done.
A confidential informant
However, Wan’s plot was foiled by a confidential informant who monitors the dark web and alerts authorities about credible and dangerous solicitations for murder. The FBI learned of Wan’s plan from the informant and placed his girlfriend under protection. They also obtained records from Wan’s cell phone and Bitcoin wallet that corroborated his confession.
Wan was arrested in May 2022 and fired from his job at the Vein Clinics of America in Lawrenceville. His medical license has also expired. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 9, 2024.