Georgia Doctor Admits to Paying $16K in Bitcoin on Dark Web to Kill Girlfriend, Telling Them to Make it Look Like 'Accident'

Dr. James Wan
Dr. James Wan YouTube

A Georgia doctor hired a hitman over the dark web and sent thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to have his girlfriend shot to death, federal prosecutors said.

In a murder-for-hire order Dr. James Wan, 54, placed in April 2022 through a "dark web marketplace" with instructions to kill his girlfriend.

Dr. Wan Gave Instructions to Take Victim's 'Wallet, Phone and Car'

Dr. Wan, of Duluth, wrote the hitman can take her "wallet phone and car," according to prosecutors. He instructed the hitman to "shoot and go" and sent a 50% down payment of about $8,000 in Bitcoin to ensure the murder would be carried through, prosecutors said.

Two days after hiring a hitman, Wan messaged the marketplace's administrator to confirm his Bitcoin payment was received since the transfer didn't appear in his escrow account, according to prosecutors.

After Wan learned the payment wasn't received, he messaged the administrator, saying "Damn. I guess I lost $8k" and sent another Bitcoin payment of about $8,000, prosecutors said.

The marketplace administrator confirmed the second payment went through to Wan's escrow account and asked if he wanted his girlfriend to die in an "accident or normal shooting," according to prosecutors. "Accident is better," Wan answered, prosecutors said.

'How Soon Should Work Be Done?'

The FBI ultimately learned of Wan's "cold hearted" plot and extended protection to his girlfriend, who was informed by agents of the hit Wan had put on her, according to prosecutors. On Oct. 17, Wan pleaded guilty to one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced in a news release.

One week after Wan sent a second Bitcoin payment to have his girlfriend killed — and before his plan was stopped by the FBI — he sent a third Bitcoin payment of about $8,000 to make sure the hitman received the money, prosecutors said. Then, Wan posted a message on a dark web marketplace forum asking "how soon should work be done?" according to prosecutors.

"I have submitted an Order and curious how quickly it should be carried out? Is there a way I can find out any progress? If there is anyone in my location?" he also wrote, prosecutors said.

By May 10, 2022, the value of Bitcoin went down and Wan sent another Bitcoin payment of about $1,200 before the FBI confronted him, according to prosecutors. In an interview with FBI agents, Wan told them he put a hit on his girlfriend and that he continually checked the status of his dark web order, prosecutors said.

He ultimately cancelled this order, according to prosecutors. Wan's motives for wanting his girlfriend dead are unclear, as possible reasons weren't specified by prosecutors. He is scheduled to be sentenced in the case Jan. 18, the release said.