A New Jersey resident who pleaded guilty in 2017 to child sex crime charges is now accused of paying a hitman $20,000 in bitcoin to murder his then-14-year-old victim.

  • John Michael Musbach faces federal murder-for-hire charges and interstate commerce violations in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, according to an Aug. 10 criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.
  • Musbach, 31, allegedly attempted to pay a dark web hitman 40 BTC (worth $20,000 at the time) to kill a 14-year-old in May 2016.
  • Just two months before, Musbach admitted to New Jersey law enforcement he and the victim had exchanged sexually explicit material online in September 2015. He would later plead guilty to state-level sex crime violations.
  • The arranged May 2016 hit never went through. According to chat logs submitted in the complaint, the murder-for-hire service duped the user alleged to be Musbach into paying more bitcoin before ultimately claiming the site was a "scam" to expose criminals.
  • Agents said they linked Musbach to the attempted hit by tracing the bitcoin to his Coinbase account and by cross-listing his dark market screen name with other internet accounts.
  • Musbach faces a maximum 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine if convicted, according to a press release.

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