Dr. James Wan, a 54-year-old Duluth resident, entered a guilty plea to participating in a nefarious murder-for-hire conspiracy that was planned via the dark web.
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan recently revealed Wan’s evil scheme to kill his girlfriend, emphasizing how Wan had concealed his evil plans by using the dark web. Fortunately, the conspiracy was discovered before the intended victim suffered any injury.
The FBI Atlanta’s special agent in charge, Keri Farley, praised the outstanding work done by their team in foiling Wan’s evil plan. She reaffirmed that Wan would now be prosecuted with all due severity, highlighting the FBI’s dedication to defending the public and stopping abhorrent acts of violence.
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and important information in this terrifying case are as follows: On April 18, 2022, Wan used a mobile phone to visit a dark web market place while he was a resident of the Northern District of Georgia. He gave precise instructions for a hitman to kill his girlfriend, including the victim’s name, home, Facebook account, license plate, and description of the vehicle. He gave the following terrifying instructions: “Can grab wallet, phone, and automobile. Fire and run. or use a car. Wan electronically submitted a first 50% down payment to the dark web marketplace, which was equivalent to almost $8,000 worth of Bitcoin, to make this terrible contract possible.
Wan contacted the marketplace’s administrator only two days later, complaining that the sent Bitcoin was missing from his online escrow account. When prompted for the Bitcoin address associated with the payment, Wan gave the information along with a screenshot of the exchange. However, the administrator pointed out that the address wasn’t in their database. The reply from Wan was chilling: “Damn. I think I lost $8,000. I’ve just sent $8k to escrow. Then he made a second Bitcoin payment to the marketplace of about $8,000, which was verified as being accurate. Wan’s hitman order was carried out, and the administrator asked if he wanted it to appear to be a “accident or normal shooting.” Wan retorted, “Accident is better.”
Wan sent another Bitcoin payment of roughly $8,000 to the dark web marketplace about a week later, on April 29, 2022, to make sure his escrow account had the required cash. In order to find out if someone in his area could supply updates, he even asked about the time and status of the job on a dark web forum.
Wan made a further payment of about $1,200 in Bitcoin on May 10, 2022 to maintain the funding of his escrow account as the value of Bitcoin dropped.
FBI investigators immediately alerted the victim of the potential threat to her life, offered her security, and interrogated Wan. He acknowledged placing the order, paying for it, and checking on its progress every day on the dark web market. Records from Wan’s bitcoin wallet and telephone supported his admission. Wan eventually canceled the homicidal order on the dark web marketplace after interacting with FBI officers.
James Wan entered a guilty plea to one count of committing murder for hire while using an interstate commerce facility. On January 18, 2024, he will be sentenced in front of U.S. District Court Judge Leigh Martin May.