Georgia Doctor Sentenced For Dark Web Hitman Plot

A medical doctor in Georgia has been handed a seven-year prison sentence for attempting to hire a hitman on the dark web to murder his girlfriend. The dark web, often described as the hidden part of the internet, consists of websites not commonly indexed by popular search engines.

Dr. James Wan, aged 54, received his sentence on Thursday in an Atlanta federal court. This judgment follows Wan’s guilty plea in October, where he admitted to a single count of using interstate commerce facilities in connection with a murder-for-hire scheme.

U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan commented, “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 cryptocurrency to pay for the crime.”

Wan, an internal medicine specialist residing in an Atlanta suburb, came under scrutiny. According to the report, he utilized Bitcoin to transfer over $16,000 to a dark web marketplace in his quest to locate an individual willing to harm his girlfriend. While his girlfriend was the intended target of the murder plot, she fortunately remained unharmed. Swift intervention by the FBI led to her placement in protective custody.

Special FBI agent in Atlanta, Keri Farley, said, “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.”

Farley continued, “This case shows that the FBI will not tolerate heinous acts of violence and will go to great lengths to protect our citizens.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office highlighted that during his court appearance, Buchanan said, “On April 18, 2022, while in the Northern District of Georgia, Wan accessed a dark web marketplace from his cellular telephone and submitted an order to have a hitman murder his girlfriend. The order included the victim’s name, address, Facebook account, license plate and car description. In the order, Wan stated, ‘Can take wallet phone and car. Shoot and go. Or take car.’ Wan then electronically transferred a 50% down payment of approximately $8,000 worth of Bitcoin to the dark web marketplace.”

Wan potentially faced a maximum prison sentence of ten years.