Duluth doctor pleads guilty to hiring hitman on dark web for $24K to kill his girlfriend

ATLANTA — A Duluth doctor has pleaded guilty to paying a hitman to murder his girlfriend.

According to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan, James Wan, M.D., 54, accessed a dark web marketplace on his cell phone and submitted an order for a hitman on April 18, 2022.

According to evidence presented in court, the order included the victim’s name, address, Facebook account, license plate, and car description.

In the order, Wan stated: “Can take wallet phone and car. Shoot and go. Or take car.”

Buchanan said Wan then electronically transferred a 50% down payment of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the dark web marketplace.

Two days later, Wan messaged the marketplace’s administrator saying the Bitcoin he transferred did not show up in his escrow account on the site.

The administrator confirmed it wasn’t in their system, so Wan sent another Bitcoin payment worth approximately $8,000 to the marketplace.

The administrator confirmed they were proceeding with Wan’s order for a hit and asked if Wan preferred it done as an “accident or normal shooting.” Wan responded, “Accident is better.”

About a week later, on April 29, 2022, Wan electronically transferred another payment of about $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the dark web marketplace to complete the order.

Soon after depositing the funds, Wan posted in a forum on the marketplace asking, “How soon should work be done? I have submitted an Order and curious how quickly it should be carried out? Is there a way I can find out any progress? If there is anyone in my location?”

After learning about the threat to the victim’s life, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation notified the victim, provided her with protection, and questioned Wan.

Wan admitted he had placed the order, transferred funds, and checked the status of the order daily on the dark web marketplace.

Records from Wan’s phone and his Bitcoin wallet verified his confession.

After speaking with FBI agents, Wan canceled the order on the dark web marketplace.

Wan pleaded guilty to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire.

“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,” said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This case shows that the FBI will not tolerate heinous acts of violence and will go to great lengths to protect our citizens.”

His sentencing is scheduled for January 18, 2024.

The case is being investigated by the FBI.

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The US government has accumulated $5 billion worth of Bitcoins and everything has been confiscated

Doctor Pleads Guilty to Bitcoin-Paid Darknet Murder Plot Against Girlfriend