John Michael Musbach pleads guilty to using the internet with the intention of committing murder in a dark net murder-for-hire scheme.
John Michael Musbach, a 31-year-old man from Haddonfield, New Jersey, has admitted to paying $20,000 in Bitcoin to have a 14-year-old child murdered, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.
Musbach pleaded guilty in a Camden federal court on February 4, 2023, to a single count of using the internet with the intention of committing murder.
According to court documents, in the summer of 2015, Musbach exchanged sexually explicit photographs and videos with a 13-year-old in New York. When the victim's parents found out, they contacted local police, who eventually arrested Musbach in March 2016 on child pornography charges.
In an effort to prevent the victim from testifying against him in the pending case, Musbach sought to have the victim killed and reached out to a murder-for-hire website operating on the dark net. He asked if a 14-year-old was too young and, upon receiving a positive answer, paid 40 Bitcoin, equivalent to $20,000 at the time. However, when pressed for an additional $5,000, Musbach sought to cancel the hit and asked for a refund. The website administrator then revealed that the website was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach's information to law enforcement.
Musbach now faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, twice his profits from the offense, or twice the victim's losses. His sentencing is scheduled for June 13, 2023.
The investigation was conducted by special agents from the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations, and was assisted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig in Camden.
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