• A 24-year-old California man allegedly used bitcoin to pay a hitman $13,000 to kill his ex-girlfriend
  • He paid an additional $1,000 to the supposed hitman, who was an undercover FBI agent
  • The woman tried repeatedly to end their brief relationship after they met last year

A 24-year-old man in Beverly Hills, California, has been arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hitman online to kill a woman he briefly dated, prosecutors announced.

Scott Quinn Berkett was arrested on May 21 on a murder-for-hire charge after he allegedly paid $13,000 in bitcoin to arrange the woman's death and then wired an additional $1,000 to the supposed hitman, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a statement released on the same day as the arrest.

Berkett planned the hit after the woman, identified as Victim 1, repeatedly tried to end her relationship with him, according to an affidavit in support of the federal criminal complaint against Berkett.

The two first met online last year before finally meeting in person when she flew to Los Angeles in late October. Victim 1 attempted to break off the relationship on several occasions following the meet-up, with the woman describing Berkett's behavior as "sexually aggressive."

A family member of the woman sent messages to Berkett's father in April after they learned Berkett continued to contact her. Berkett responded to the messages with "consider this matter closed" on April 21, but he allegedly contacted a murder-for-hire service on the dark web using the name "Ula77" afterward, according to the affidavit.

Authorities believed the service was a scam, but the group behind it contacted a media outlet about the plot, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in the statement. The outlet then relayed the information to the FBI, which included messages from Berkett as well as documentation of his payments.

The media outlet provided "transaction information from an unnamed source on the Dark Web that showed that Bitcoin payments were made with an understanding that an unknown individual would murder Victim 1," the affidavit showed.

"The information provided was specific about the identity and location of Victim 1, as well as social media accounts, nicknames, email and a distinctive tattoo of Victim 1," it continued.

Berkett submitted the order for the hit on April 28, telling the murder-for-hire group, "I’d like it to look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better. So long as she is dead. I’d also like for her phone to be retrieved and destroyed irreparably in the process,” according to the affidavit.

The information provided to the FBI indicated that Berkett made the bitcoin payments amounting to $13,000 between April 5 and May 5.

An undercover FBI agent posing as a hitman contacted Berkett on May 19 and sent a photo of Victim 1 to Berkett, who confirmed she was indeed the target. He then demanded a proof-of-death photo from the hitman that showed her corpse as well as her distinctive tattoo. Following the meeting, Berkett made a final payment of $1,000 to the FBI agent via Western Union on May 20.

Berkett was scheduled to make his first appearance before the U.S. District Court Tuesday. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison if he is convicted on the murder-for-hire count.

The FBI is still investigating the case.

Representation. Scott Quinn Berkett allegedly paid $13,000 worth of bitcoin to order a hit from a murder-for-hire service from the dark web. Pixabay