Bitcoin-Funded Dark Web Murder Plot Thwarted: Nevada Woman Gets Five-Year Prison Sentence

In a shocking case that unfolded in court on Friday, Kristy Lynn Felkins, a 38-year-old woman from Nevada, was sentenced to five years in federal prison for attempting to hire a hitman on the dark web to murder her ex-husband. Felkins had pleaded guilty in March to the use of “interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire,” a serious offense that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, as stated by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The startling incident dates back to 2016 when Felkins made a chilling decision to try to end her ex-husband’s life by engaging the services of a site called “Besa Mafia” on the Tor network, which purportedly offered murder-for-hire services. At that time, she transferred 12 Bitcoins to the site’s administrator, valuing approximately $5,000, with the aim of ensuring her ex-husband’s demise. Today, those 12 Bitcoins would be valued at nearly $360,000, as reported by CoinGecko.

Over a period of four months in 2016, Felkins had numerous exchanges with the administrator of Besa Mafia, providing specific and personal information about her ex-husband’s whereabouts, including his home address, vehicle details, and daily routines, as stated in a criminal complaint filed in 2020.

Felkins expressed her desire for her ex-husband’s murder to appear as an accident, but she declined to pay a $4,000 upcharge. After sending the payment, the site’s administrator falsely informed her that a hitman had been assigned and that her ex-husband would meet his end within a week. However, unbeknownst to Felkins, the whole operation was nothing but a scam, and no murder took place. The website Besa Mafia ceased to exist, and Felkins was never refunded the Bitcoin she had sent, the Department of Justice revealed in a press release. However, the DOJ did not disclose how it became aware of Felkins’ intentions and actions.

During the sentencing proceedings, Gabriel Scott, Felkins’ ex-husband from North Carolina, expressed his surprise upon learning about the failed plot to kill him. He described Felkins as “a wonderful mother” and mentioned that their divorce had been relatively amicable. Nevertheless, he believed Felkins deserved some form of punishment for her disturbing actions.

Felkins had conveyed her motives to the Besa Mafia administrator in 2016, revealing that she stood to benefit from her ex-husband’s death by gaining access to his retirement funds, their shared house, and potentially a substantial life insurance payout. Nonetheless, during her sentencing, she expressed gratitude that the person she interacted with turned out to be a scam artist and that no harm befell her ex-husband.

U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley handed down the five-year prison sentence after considering the gravity of the offense and the potential consequences had the plot succeeded. The case serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of the dark web and the nefarious activities that can take place in its shadowy corners.

Source: decrypt

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