A New Jersey man is facing up to 10 years in prison after hiring a hitman and paying $20,000 in Bitcoin to kill a 14-year-old, The New York Times reported.
During the summer of 2015, John Michael Musbach began exchanging sexually explicit photographs and videos with a then-13-year-old victim that lived in New York. After the victim’s family discovered the inappropriate relationship, they notified police. In March 2016, he was finally arrested on child pornography charges.
After he was released on bond, Musbach wanted to have his victim killed to prevent her from testifying against him in the pending criminal case. He then “repeatedly communicated with the administrator of a murder-for-hire website” on the dark web, which requires cryptocurrency payments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey said in a release. “Musbach asked if a 14-year-old was too young to target, and upon hearing that the age was not a problem, paid approximately 40 bitcoin (approximately $20,000 at the time) for the hit.”
When Musbach asked when the murder would take place, the website’s administrator asked for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit. Frustrated, Musbach attempted to cancel the transaction and receive a refund. The administer responded by revealing that the site was a scam and threatening to expose Musbach’s information to law enforcement.
On Thursday, Musbach pleaded guilty to one count of knowingly and intentionally using the internet with the intent that a murder be committed. If convicted, Musbach faces up to a decade and prison and a fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for June 13th.