A Wisconsin woman was arrested after attempting to hire a hitman on the dark web using Bitcoin.
Kelly Harper, 37, admitted the hit attempt to the FBI when investigators executed a search warrant at the home.
If convicted, Harper will face up to 10 years in federal prison.
A Wisconsin woman was charged on Monday after she tried to order a hitman using Bitcoin, according to the Department of Justice.
Kelly Harper, 37, was arrested on February 5 and charged with using the internet to hire someone to commit murder.
According to court filings, a group of journalists was investigating a murder-for-hire website on the dark web when they discovered chats between Harper and someone identifying as the administrator of the site about a requested hit.
One message handed over to investigators said, “The target needs to be killed, he is a white 5 foot 5 male, dark brown short hair, blue eyes, weighs 165 pounds” and included photos of the target, their vehicle, and their cell phone number.
A screenshot from a Bitcoin transfer was included in one message, indicating that Harper paid the administrator approximately $5,633.87 for the requested hitjob.
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While her name was not in any of the messages, Harper’s identity slowly came to light with the help of the FBI’s Money Laundering, Forfeiture, and Bank Fraud Unit that was able to identify an IP address, email account, and phone number associated with the bitcoin wallet. A special agent in the FBI then used grand jury subpoenas to find that the Bitcoin wallet was tied to Harper.
Harper later agreed to an interview when FBI agents executed a search warrant at her home, where she admitted to paying the administrator of the website in Bitcoin for a requested hit, according to the court filings.
Harper’s first hearing was on February 9 and she is currently being held at the Dane County Jail in Madison, Wisconsin after prosecutors requested that she be detained during the case proceedings. According to her court docket, her case will be seen by a grand jury on Wednesday. If convicted, Harper will face up to 10 years in federal prison.
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