A Nevada woman pays for attempted murder in Bitcoin. A mysterious hacker turns into an informer

A Nevada woman pays for attempted murder in Bitcoin. A mysterious hacker turns into informer - What20is20Bitcoin207 29685228 ver1.0 1024x576A woman from Nevada, United States, is facing federal government accusations these days of allegedly paying a dark web hitman $ 5.000 in bitcoin (quotation in real time) to kill her ex-husband. The story shares surprising parallels with another recent case of attempted murder on commission.

Contract murder paid in Bitcoin

The murder, ordered in the spring of 2016, did not go through. But 36-year-old Kristy Lynn Felkins was indicted Thursday by the California federal court for allegedly paying a fake hitman 12 BTC (at the time worth $ 5.000) to commit the murder.

Homeland Security agents found evidence of the bitcoin-paid murder order on a LocalBitcoins account associated with Felkins, who, under a pseudonym, allegedly made arrangements with the scammer before actually paying him, authorities said.

The logs containing the chats are cited in the criminal complaint and describe a month of negotiations in which the scammer tries and fails to sell a more expensive method of killing to the pseudonym linked to Felkins, before disappearing without committing any murder.

Federal agents said the evidence for the prosecution was procured by an overseas, anonymous hacker who investigated the dark web paid homicide site to obtain information, chat logs and bitcoin addresses. and then deliver all the material to the feds around January 2019.

Another similar case

The Felkins case bears striking similarities to another case that emerged just over a month ago in the US state of New Jersey, where a man, John Michael Musbach, 31, was arrested on charges of attempting to pay a 40 BTC dark web hitman (worth $ 20.000 at the time of the deal) to kill a 2016-year-old in May XNUMX.

Again, the hitman was a scammer, and fortunately no murder was committed. The agents said they linked Musbach to the attempted murder by tracking the bitcoins on his Coinbase account and doing cross-searches on the dark web and the internet.

Hacker-informers in the service of law enforcement

Federal agents often use the help offered by hacker-whistleblowers like the one in the Felkins case. From the documents concerning the lawsuit, it appears that the hacker-informant in question is described as a citizen residing abroad, with a conviction obtained outside the United States for possession of child pornography.

The information he provided proved "reliable," the agents wrote. According to the documents, the hacker is working with the US government with no expectation of monetary gains or concessions to get out of prison.

These two cases demonstrate how those who see bitcoin as a possible avenue for criminal matters - thinking, perhaps, that cryptography provides anonymity in the financial sector unprecedented in the digital world - can easily end up in the crosshairs of authorities when the immutable and highly traceable bitcoin is revealed to experts.