According to federal authorities, a Beverly Hills man acknowledged to using bitcoin to pay a hitman to murder his ex-girlfriend after she decided to stop their brief relationship.
The US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California revealed Wednesday that Scott Berkett, 25, pled guilty in the murder-for-hire conspiracy in which he paid around $13,000 in bitcoin for the woman’s murder.
In 2020, the California resident met the victim online, and in October of that year, she flew out to Los Angeles to visit him. Prosecutors said the woman tried to break up with Berkett several times following that trip, claiming his behavior was “sexually hostile.”
Berkett’s father was called and texted by the victim’s relative in April 2021 after Berkett continued to disturb her. “Consider this affair closed,” Berkett said at one point.
Berkett stated in his plea deal that he instead looked for a hitman on the darknet, where he thought he might find murder-for-hire services. He gave the darknet organization detailed instructions and information about the victim.
According to the feds, Berkett was contacted by an undercover cop masquerading as a hitman.
Berkett confirmed that the undercover officer had emailed him images of the victim and that he had paid in bitcoin for her murder. Before he was arrested in May 2021, he wanted further proof of her murder and paid an additional $1,000 through Western Union for her death, according to the US Attorney’s office.
He pleaded guilty to one count of murder-for-hire using interstate facilities and faces up to ten years in jail.
Berkett will be sentenced on September 12 in federal court.