Scott Berkett: Man gets 5 years in prison after trying to hire undercover FBI agent on darknet to kill girlfriend

Posing as a hitman, the undercover FBI agent contacted Berkett on WhatsApp and sent him photos of the woman

Scott Berkett: Man gets 5 years in prison after trying to hire undercover FBI agent on darknet to kill girlfriend
Scott pleaded guilty in the murder-for-hire plot in which he paid about $13,000 in bitcoin for the woman’s murder (US Department of Justice)
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LOS ANGLES, CALIFORNIA: A Beverly Hills man who tried to hire a hitman to kill a woman he once dated and who kept trying to end their relationship was sentenced on Monday, September 12 to 60 months in federal prison. United States District Judge Mark C Scarsi handed down a sentence to 25-year-old Scott Quinn Berkett. On June 13, 2022, he entered a plea of guilty to one count of using interstate facilities to commit murder for hire. Since his detention in this case in May 2021, he has been held by the federal government. 

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The victim and Berkett met online in 2020, and the woman flew to Los Angeles to meet Berkett in late October 2020, according to the affidavit in support of a criminal complaint in this case. The victim made several attempts to end the relationship after the October trip and described Berkett's actions as "sexually aggressive."

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Months later, the woman's relative discovered that Berkett was still in touch with her and texted the defendant to let him know. When asked, Berkett replied, "Consider this matter closed."

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Instead, according to court documents, Berkett paid $13,000 in Bitcoin to a mysterious internet organization to arrange the hit and an additional $1,000 to the alleged killer. The website turned out to be a sort of scam, and its owners gave law enforcement the defendant's communications and other details. The alleged hit man was actually a covert agent. According to federal prosecutors, Berkett gave the dark web organization a work order and stated that he wanted the murder to "look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better."

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In May 2021, the undercover agent who was acting as a hit man contacted Berkett and sent him a picture of RE, who Berkett confirmed was the intended victim. Prosecutors claim that during conversations with the alleged murderer, Berkett insisted on seeing a photo of the corpse as proof of death.

In a sentencing memo, the prosecution argued, "Berkett’s crime was not a momentary lapse in judgment, but a premeditated plot to kill the victim because she rejected his advances." prosecutors added, "While attempting to take a life is atrocious enough, [Berkett’s] chosen method of carrying out the crime – using the Dark Web to hire a hitman and cryptocurrency – speak to his sophistication, meticulous planning, and attempts to anonymize his illegal conduct in the commission of this offense, and are aggravating in nature."

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