Doctor Gets Seven Years for Dark Web Hitman Hire

Doctor Tries To Hire Hitman On Darknet
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Several years after his arrest, a doctor from Duluth, Georgia, who tried to hire a hitman from the Darknet, has finally been sentenced for his murderous attempt and dodgy dealings. The man who pledged to save lives is another example proving there are no legitimate hitman services available on the Darknet. However, is a seven-year sentence enough to justify an attempted murder or conspiracy to kill?

Key Takeaways

  • James Wan, a 54-year-old doctor from Duluth, Georgia, was arrested in May 2022 and pleaded to using a dark web platform to hire a hitman to murder his girlfriend
  • Convicted on one count of using a facility of interstate commerce in the commission of murder-for-hire. Sentenced to seven years and three months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release.
  • His capture came from failed OpSec practices. He used his personal cellphone to access the honeypot website, where he submitted an order including personal details about his girlfriend and paid using Bitcoin.
  • Wan transferred over $16,000 in Bitcoin to the dark web marketplace in instalments. This included a 50% down payment of approximately $8,000, which initially went to the wrong crypto wallet, and an additional payment to adjust for the drop in Bitcoin value, totalling over $25,000.\
  • The FBI allege they received an alert about Wan’s plot through a tip from a private individual monitoring the darknet.

James Wan is a 54-year-old doctor from Duluth, Georgia, who has been sentenced to over seven years in federal prison for attempting to orchestrate a murder-for-hire plot against his own girlfriend. James sent BTC to the alleged hitman to strategically murder his girlfriend. He planned to organize this crime through the darknet Hitman-For-Hire services. As you may know, if you’re a regular here at, hitman-for-hire services via the Darknet are either a Honeypot or a scam. There have been no known successful Hitman hired through Darknet Markets.

“This defendant believed he could mask his homicidal intentions by using electronic means. By using the dark web to conceal his search for someone to kill his girlfriend, Wan expected to evade detection, even going as far as using crypto currency to pay for the crime. While criminals regularly search for new ways to harm their victims, our law enforcement partners constantly adapt their methods to identify them and bring them to justice”

said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan.

Who He Was and Sentencing:

James Wan Darknet Hitman Hire

James Wan had his own medical practice in Georgia, specifically at the Vein Clinics of America located in Lawrenceville. Wan was fired soon after his arrest in May 2022, and his medical license was revoked due to the arrest. Wan’s sentencing comes after he pleaded guilty to one count of using a platform on the darknetto commission and hire a hitman to murder his girlfriend at the time.

“Despite his cowardly concealment on the dark web, Wan’s cold hearted murderous plot was averted due to the exceptional work of our team. He will now face the full consequences of the criminal justice system. This sentencing shows that the FBI will not tolerate heinous acts of violence and will go to great lengths to protect our citizens,”

said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta.

Despite facing a maximum sentence of 10 years, this was shortened and ended up receiving a sentence of over seven years.

Motivation and Execution

Wan’s motive for attempting to have his girlfriend murdered remains unclear, with no clear details emerging from court documents or any of these testimonials. However, Wan’s method of hiring a hitman unfolded on the dark web. In April 2022, he accessed a Darknet marketplace from his cellphone, submitting an order that included his girlfriend’s name, address, Facebook account, license plate number, and a description of her car. In a chilling online request, he specified, “Can take wallet phone and car. Shoot and go. Or take car.” Wan then made an electronic transfer of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin, which was a 50% deposit down payment to the marketplace that was used via the dark web.

To get away with the sinister plan, Wan transferred more than $16,000 in Bitcoin to the Hitman Website’s escrow wallet. The payments were made in instalments, with the initial 50 per cent down payment of approximately $8,000 encountering a hiccup when it went to the wrong crypto wallet.
Days later, Wan contacted the marketplace’s administrator, saying that the transferred Bitcoin had not shown up in his escrow account on the site. James Wan (in a message to the dark web marketplace’s administrator) wrote “I guess I lost $8k. I’m sending $8k to escrow now.” Undeterred, Wan sent the money again after learning about the error. The marketplace administrator confirmed receipt, asking Wan whether he wanted the murder to appear as an “accident or normal shooting.” Wan responded, “accident is better.”

About a week after initiating the planned murder on April 29, 2022, Wan made another electronic transfer. This time, an additional payment of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin into the darknet marketplace was calculated to ensure his escrow account maintained the necessary funds to fulfil the gruesome order. Wan’s actions showed a chilling commitment to see his plan through to completion.

Shortly following the electronic transfer, Wan took to a forum within the darknet marketplace to post a disturbing inquiry and stated

“How soon should work be done? 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?”

This inquiry showed a nonchalant attitude towards Wab regarding the planned murder, showing the scary reality of Wan’s detachment from the reality of his intentions. 

On May 10, 2022, another electronic transfer of $1,200 worth of Bitcoin was made by Wan into this escrow account. The reason for this being the fact that there was a sizeable drop in the value of Bitcoin to balance out the total required amount to carry out this order, again showing his determination for this plan to come to completion.

Payments totalling over $25,000 were made in subsequent weeks to ensure the order for the hit was fully funded. 

FBI Catch Wind On Wan’s Intentions

According to the FBI, they were notified of Wan’s dark web murder plot through a private tipster monitoring posts on the forum. However, Darknet veterans are more certain the Hitman for hire service Wan attempted to use was simply a Honeypot set up by the FBI.

The tipster, not directly involved in operating the marketplace, provided information that was credible and dangerous. The FBI swiftly intervened, ensuring the safety of Wan’s girlfriend by placing her under protection. Wan, unaware of the ongoing investigation, continued to check the status of the hit order daily on the dark web marketplace.

The FBI, with creditable information from the tipster and records received from Wan’s cellphone and Bitcoin wallet, confronted the doctor. Wan admitted to placing the order, making the payments, and actively monitoring the progress of the hit. With the realisation that he had been caught out and faced with the evidence, Wan cancelled the order on the Hitman website.

Special Agent in Charge Keri Farley emphasized the exceptional work of the FBI team, highlighting that Wan’s cold-hearted plot was shut down despite his attempts to conceal it on the dark web. The FBI’s commitment to protecting citizens from heinous acts of violence was underlined, and Wan now faces the full consequences of the criminal justice system. James Wan has been sentenced to seven years, three months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release.  Wan was convicted on these charges on October 17, 2023, after he pleaded guilty.