Not all cryptocurrencies are anonymous, and this was confirmed in practice by a 36-year-old resident of Nevada, who in 2016 tried to hire a killer for her ex-husband for bitcoins.
Despite the fact that the attempt to hire a killer was made in 2016, law enforcement agencies only found out about it in 2019. Kristy Lynn Felkins from Nevada transferred $5,000 in BTC to an already closed website on the darknet, hoping to find an assassin for her ex-husband Gabriel Scott. Communication took place through the Tor browser, and the site operator even asked about the reasons for searching for the killer.
“This man mentally, emotionally, physically and sexually abused me. I ran away, but he took my children. Now he is putting moral pressure on them and threatening them with physical violence. He is still a snake and manipulator,” the accused replied.
The woman transferred 12 BTC to the darknet platform between March 6 and 9, 2016. However, it turned out that the site was fraudulent, so the murder did not take place. The accused tried to return the funds, but then stopped communicating.
Court documents do not explain how the authorities found out about the crime. Law enforcement agencies tracked cryptocurrency purchases, compared the initials of the accused and her email, as well as correspondence with the site operator. The woman was then arrested and charged on September 24. Felkins now faces up to 10 years in prison.
Recently, the US Department of justice conducted operation DisrupTor, in which $6.5 million was confiscated from smugglers and operators of drug-selling sites on the darknet.