A Beverly Hills man has been arrested for a Hire Hitman attempt on a woman he had dated for a short period.
The accused had been identified as Scott Quinn Berkett, aged 24 years. He had been arrested on Friday following a charge in a federal criminal complaint. The complaint had alleged that the accused had sent thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin (BTC) for arranging the murder of his ex-girlfriend. Following this, he had also wired an additional $1,000 to the hitman under the Hire Hitman attempt. Unfortunately, the so-called hitman or contract killer was an undercover FBI agent. The United States Attorney’s Office had confirmed this information.
As per the affidavit, the accused had met the “Victim 1” last year online. The woman had flown to Los Angeles in October in order to meet him. As per the Department of Justice (DOJ), Victim 1 described the accused’s behaviour as “sexually aggressive”. Victim 1 had tried to call off the relationship multiple times.
The affidavit had also stated that in April, a family member had learnt of the accused being in continuous contact with Victim 1. The family member had called and sent text messages to the accused’s father’s phone. On the 20th of April, the accused had appeared to have responded, stating, “consider this matter closed”. However, the officials had mentioned that the accused had allegedly contacted an anonymous group on the dark web that had advertised hitman-for-hire service.
Law enforcement believes that this particular dark web group is a scam. The group had contacted a media outlet that passed on the information to the FBI. The report also included text messages from the accused and the documents of the payments by the accused, who was under the hire hitman attempt. The accused had been using the alias “Ula77”, mentioned the affidavit.
“The media outlet provided transaction information from an unnamed source on the Dark Web that showed that Bitcoin payments were made with an understanding that an unknown individual would murder “Victim 1”.
The statement read,
“The information provided was specific about the identity and location of “victim 1”, as well as social media accounts, nicknames, email, and a distinctive tattoo of “victim 1”.
The law enforcement officials stated that the accused Berkett had allegedly submitted his order for the murder on the 28th of April. He had written a note to the alleged assassin group –
“I’d like it to look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better. So long as she is dead. I’d also like for her phone to be retrieved and destroyed irreparably in the process.”
The information that was provided to the FBI had pointed out that the accused had made Bitcoin payments worth $13,000 between the 5th of April and the 5th of May this year.
An undercover agent, who had been posing as a Hitman came into contact with the accused on Wednesday. Eventually, the accused had sent a photo of Victim 1. Later the accused had confirmed that it was the victim, the affidavit had further mentioned.
The officials had said at that time, the accused had demanded a photo showing proof-of-death that would display the corpse and the distinctive tattoo of Victim 1. The affidavit had also revealed that the accused had cleared his final payment late on Thursday afternoon. He had been arrested the following day.
If the accused is convicted, he would be facing a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years or 120 months in federal prison.
Source: Fox 11
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