John Michael Musbach, Haddonfield, NJ man pleads guilty to hiring hitman for $20K in bitcoin to kill 14 year old boy to stop him testifying in criminal case against him.
A New Jersey man has admitted to hiring a hitman and paying $20,000 in Bitcoin to kill a 14 year old child, in a bid to stop him from testifying in a criminal case involving the sending of illicit child images, prosecutors said.
John Michael Musbach, 31, of Haddonfield, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court Thursday to an indictment charging him with one count of knowingly and intentionally using and causing another to use a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, the internet, with the intent that a murder be committed, a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey stated.
Musbach is accused of exchanging sexually explicit photographs and videos with the then-13-year-old victim living in New York in the summer of 2015, prosecutors said.
The victim’s parents found out about the inappropriate exchange and contacted police.
Musbach was identified in the case and in March 2016 was arrested on child pornography charges and a search warrant of his residence, then in Galloway, New Jersey, was conducted.
‘No undercover cops here. No risks of getting caught, because we are professional killers,’
Prosecutors said that Musbach then made the decision to kill the victim so the minor could not testify against him in the pending criminal case.
From May 7 to May 20, 2016, he ‘repeatedly communicated with the administrator of a murder-for-hire website’ on the dark web, which offered contract killings in return for cryptocurrency payment.
The murder-for-hire service advertised itself on its website, saying ‘If you want to kill someone, or to beat the sh*t out of him, we are the right guys … No undercover cops here. No risks of getting caught, because we are professional killers,’ according to the complaint.
Using that website, Musbach arranged for a murder-for-hire.
‘Is he too young to target?’
‘Musbach asked if a 14-year-old was too young to target, and upon hearing that the age was not a problem, paid approximately 40 bitcoin (approximately $20,000 at the time) for the hit,’ the release said.
When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach sought to cancel and asked for a refund of his $20,000. The website’s administrator then revealed that the website was a scam and threatened to reveal Musbach’s information to law enforcement, the US Attorney’s Office said.
The man now faces up to ten years behind bars and and a fine ‘of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits to Musbach or twice the gross losses to the victim of his offence,’ upon his sentencing scheduled for June 13, 2023.