UK woman allegedly lost $25K bitcoin in attempt to hire hitman

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A UK court has branded a dark web site advertising bitcoin-for-hire hitmen an “absolute sham” and “palpable nonsense” after a woman, who allegedly tried to have a one-time fling murdered, lost $25,000 in bitcoin.

Mother-of-five Helen Hewlett allegedly paid a £20,000 deposit for a hitman on the site Online Killers Market. It was agreed that money would exchange hands once her former fling, an ex-colleague, was murdered. However, the fake hitmen took Hewlett’s cash without going through with the deed.

Prosecutors claimed in Norwich Crown Court that Hewlett was “relentless” in pursuing Mark Belton romantically, stalking him from January 2021 to August 2022. Belton claims he “immediately regretted” the fling. 

Read more: Man scammed by fake bitcoin hitman after curse fails to deter love rival

Hewlett was arrested after police discovered multiple bitcoin payments to the dark web site originating from a Coinbase account containing her personal details.

After the hit was placed, prosecutors claim that Hewlett had searched for news articles about various local accidents and deaths. 

On the day of her arrest, police pretended to be Hewlett and canceled the hit but couldn’t recover the bitcoin payment. In her defense, she said: “I put a post on a forum. It was to vent more than anything and to say things that I was feeling.”

“You have to give your OK for someone to be done,” she said in a police interview, insisting she wasn’t going to go ahead with the killing. She did however admit she couldn’t be sure if the hit would happen regardless.

It’s likely that most online hitmen are scams

There’s seemingly a big market for hitmen. Indeed, prosecutors claim that Hewlett bookmarked several other sites including Dark Web Hitman Sites (Real), Dark Mamba Hitmen, and Hire A Hitman Service.

Hewlett apparently settled on Online Killer Market, which promised a “100% job completion rate” while offering a variety of services, including sniper killings for $20,000 — $60,000, arson for $20,000, and a beating for $2,000.

However, when it comes to many of these online portals, it’s likely that the advertised assassins are no more than scammers in disguise. Just last week, a doctor was sentenced to eight years after being scammed by a bitcoin hitman in a failed murder plot. Another would-be murderer lost $13,000 in bitcoin after a hitman he tried to hire leaked his scheme to the press.

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