A Nevada woman admitted to paying a darkweb hitman site to murder her ex-husband
Kristy Lynn Felkins, 37, of Fallon, Nevada, pleaded guilty to one count of the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
Felkins admitted sending the administrator of Besa Mafia, a fraudulent murder-for-hire site, 12 Bitcoin to murder her ex-husband. Per the Stipulation to Factual Basis for Guilty Plea:
Between approximately March 6, 2016, and March 9, 2016, Felkins sent Besa Mafia just over twelve Bitcoin, the value of which was roughly $5,000 at the time, for a hitman to kill her ex-husband and make it look like an accident. Felkins provided the home address of her ex-husband and other information, such as the time he left for work, vehicle information, and locations at which he could be located. After receiving Bitcoin from Felkins, a Besa Admin acknowledged receipt of the payment and told Felkins that a nearby hitman would be assigned to the job.
Felkins has been described in the news as a “stay at home mom.”
In the weeks following the payment to Besa Mafia, Felkins regularly communicated with the Besa Mafia administrator. In one communication, Felkins asked the Besa administrator if it was “possible to make it seem like it was a mugging gone wrong? Maybe they take his wallet? I understand if that means it might not happen on Monday am, but it may take an extra day or so to plan. If this isn’t possible, I understand.”
Felkins explained that she wanted her ex-husband to die so that she could have custody of their children.
“I ran, and then he took my children away from me.”
She also said that she was likely to receive her ex-husband’s large life insurance payout, retirement, and house. Felkins told the Besa administrator that she did not care if the hitman harmed her ex-husband’s girlfriend.
Felkins told the site administrator that her ex-husband would be traveling to North Carolina. She asked if the hitman could kill him during his trip. Yura, the administrator of Besa Mafia, described a ludicrous plan:
I don’t think the sniper hitman will be able to get ready and go there so fast; however, if the current sniper won’t be able to do it; he will follow them to the airport and will bribe someone to find out where he is going; eventually he will buy a last-minute flight with the same plane to the same location to stay with him.
He will leave his gun in the car, though, as no guns can pass through the airport gate. He will fly towards the same location, and when landed, he will steal a car. He is good at it. He will steal a truck or some solid jeep and will run him over by a car, making it look like an accident.
The Besa Mafia administrator repeatedly provided excuses for why the hitman had not yet murdered the Felkins’ target. Felkins eventually caught on to the scam and stopped communicating with the fake hitman.
Besa Mafia is one of the many murder-for-hire scams operated by a single fraudster.
In 2019, an informant provided law enforcement with "scraped" messages from Besa Mafia’s servers and the Bitcoin addresses associated with the site’s customers: In or about January 2019, an individual not acting on behalf of the government (referred to herein as the “CS-1”) provided information to federal law enforcement agents pertaining to a murder-for-hire website that operated on the dark web (referred to herein as “WEBSITE-1”). Between August 2018 and October 2018, CS-1 used a program to scrape from WEBSITE-1 messages between the site’s administrator (“ADMIN”) and its users. CS-1 was also able to identify the Bitcoin addresses associated with the payments made for acts of violence. In early 2019, CS-1 provided law enforcement with the contents of these scrapes of WEBSITE-1 and continues to provide information about WEBSITE-1. CS-1 provided this information to law enforcement without any promise of pecuniary gain or judicial consideration for any pending criminal case in the United States. Law enforcement has found the information provided by CS-1 to be reliable and has corroborated this information.
Investigators identified a LocalBitcoins account as the source of the Bitcoin Felkins had sent to Besa Mafia. Felkins had created a LocalBitcoins account under the username “kl85coins.” The account name includes the letters “k” and “l,” which are the first and middle initials of Felkins’ name. Felkins was born in March 1985. “Thus, the ‘k’ and’ l’ combined with ‘85’ correspond to Felkins’ personal identifiers,” SA Mann wrote.
The name listed on the LocalBitcoins account was “Kristy L Felkins.”
Felkins is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on June 16, 2022. Felkins faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.
The Northern Calafornia illicit digital economy task force is credited with the investigation that resulted in Felkins’ conviction.
Criminal Complaint (pdf)
Stipulation to Factual Basis for Guilty Plea (pdf)