Woman Indicted on Bitcoin-Fueled Murder-for-Hire Charges

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In Brief
  • A Nevada woman allegedly paid 12 BTC in 2016 to order a hit on her ex-husband.

  • The dark website turned out to be a scam.

  • Federal agents tracked her down using her initials and email address provided to the Finnish P2P exchange she bought the BTC from.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

A 36-year-old woman from Fallon, Nev. has been indicted on murder-for-hire charges for allegedly trying to pay a hitman $5,000 in bitcoin to kill her ex-husband.



A press release issued by the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of California names Kristy Lynn Felkins as the subject of the indictment. According to court documents, Felkins contracted the services of a hitman via a darknet website in 2016. She allegedly paid 12 BTC — then worth approximately $5,000 — to order a hit on her ex-husband with whom she had two children. 

LocalBitcoins and the Contract Killer

According to the criminal complaint filed by the DA’s office in February 2016, Felkins reached out to the admin of a now-defunct darknet website that offered illegal services like assault, kidnapping and murder for hire in exchange for cryptocurrency. The admin informed her that taking out a hit on her ex-husband would cost $5,000 in bitcoin, then worth 12 BTC.

Chat records accessed by the Northern California Illicit Digital Economy Task Force show that using the pseudonym “KBGMKN,” Felkins spoke extensively with the admin who advised her to obtain the bitcoin from LocalBitcoins. The admin went on to inform her about coin mixing, so as to obfuscate the transaction and throw off any potential law enforcement investigation.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that Felkins’ ex-husband, Gabriel Scott, was set to embark on a trip to Chico, Calif. at the time. It was during this trip that the hitman was supposed to strike and “make it look like a mugging,” according to the chat records accessed by investigators.

The Plot Unravels

The supposed hitman, as it turned out, was actually a phony and the website was a scam site that advertised such services without ever carrying them out. The criminal complaint reveals that Felkins later grew frustrated and tried to obtain a refund when the hitman failed to shoot her husband in his car as she instructed. Chat records show her telling him:

“If you guys can’t do as promised then it’s time for me to stop wasting my time [sic], get a refund and figure out another solution.”

The darknet website and its records came to light in 2019 through a plea deal in a separate overseas child pornography case. The case, which evokes memories of the infamous Silk Road case, is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Paul Hemesath. If convicted, Felkins faces up to 10 years in prison. 


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David is a journalist, writer and broadcaster whose work has appeared on CNN, The Africa Report, The New Yorker Magazine and The Washington Post. His work as a satirist on 'The Other News,' Nigeria's answer to The Daily Show has featured in the New Yorker Magazine and in the Netflix documentary 'Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy.' In 2018, he was nominated by the US State Department for the 2019 Edward Murrow program for journalists under the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP). He tweets at @DavidHundeyin

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