German imprisoned for attempting to hire hitman online with Bitcoin

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The Berlin district court sentenced a man to prison time for repeated attempts to hire a hitman by paying with Bitcoin (BTC) on the deep web.

An announcement published by Berlin’s prosecutor’s office explains that the 28-year-old defendant was in love with a 38-year-old man that he met online in 2020. The 38-year-old moved with in with his partner in 2021, causing the frustrated defendant to look for violent ways to end the long-term relationship after attempts to win over his heart failed.

The defendant first joined a murder-for-hire site in February and on March 7 placed the first order and deposited $9,000 worth of Bitcoin on the platform. The defendant also provided information including the name, address and photos of the desired man’s lover and asked to make the assassination look like an accident or a robbery that did not go as planned.

The defendant then deposited more Bitcoin each time the hitman purportedly failed in achieving the goal, reaching a total of about $24,000 paid by the end of March. After numerous complaints over the target being still alive, the platform’s administrator clearly said in an April 4 message that the whole website is nothing more than a scam and no real hitmen are involved.

The defendant’s activity was noticed by a journalist investigating alleged deep web murder-for-hire services. The journalist collected the information about the attempt to hire a hitman and shared it with Berlin’s police office which led to an arrest on April 9. According to local media, the 28-year-old was then sentenced to four and a half years in prison on Dec. 8, after pleading guilty to attempted incitement to commit murder.

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