A Beverly Hills man has pleaded guilty to trying to hire a hitman to murder a woman he met online, authorities say, People revealed.
According to the report, a press release from the Department of Justice shared on Monday said that the Beverly Hills man Scott Quinn Berkett entered a guilty plea to one count of use of interstate facilities to commit murder-for-hire.
In October 2020, the woman, whose identity has not been released, flew to Los Angeles to see the Beverly Hills man Berkett, 25, after meeting him online, according to the DOJ.
The woman alleged that he became “sexually aggressive,” and tried to end things with him multiple times after the trip.
The following April, one of the woman’s relatives found out Berkett was still trying to contact her, and reached out to Berkett’s father through calls and text messages.
“Berkett appears to have responded saying ‘consider this matter closed,’ ” the DOJ wrote.
The Beverly Hills man Berkett confessed that later that month, he looked for a hitman on the dark web “and paid for murder-for-hire services.”
“I’d like it to look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better. So long as she is dead. I’d also like for her phone to be retrieved and destroyed irreparably in the process,” Berkett wrote using the screen name “Ula77,” according to a previous news release from the DOJ in May 2021.
He also gave out the woman’s personal information, from her email address and social media profiles to details of her unique tattoo.
“As payment for the victim’s murder, Berkett [sent] the darknet group Bitcoin payments totaling approximately $13,000,” the DOJ wrote in Monday’s release.
In May 2021, an undercover FBI agent “contacted Berkett while posing as the hitman Berkett believed he had hired from the darknet group.”
The agent sent Berkett photos of the woman and Berkett “confirmed that the pictures showed his intended victim and that he had made Bitcoin payments to obtain her murder.”
Berkett then asked for “proof of her murder” and gave the agent a final payment of $1,000 through Western Union.
His sentencing is set for Sept. 12. Berkett faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The DOJ declined to comment further, and it is unclear if Berkett has a lawyer to comment on his behalf.