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Beverly Hills man pleads guilty to soliciting, paying darknet hitman to kill woman he dated briefly

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (June 15 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (June 15 AM Edition) 01:40

A 25-year-old Beverly Hills man faces 10 years in federal prison after admitting he solicited and paid a hitman on the dark web to kill a woman he barely dated.

Scott Quinn Berkett pleaded guilty Monday to one count of use of interstate facilities to commit murder-for-hire, according to the Department of Justice.

Berkett met the unidentified woman online in 2020, and she flew to Los Angeles to meet him in late October 2020, according to an affidavit filed in support of the charges. The woman found Berkett's behavior to be "sexually aggressive" and tried several times to break off the relationship after the October trip, federal prosecutors said.

In April of 2021, a family member called and sent text messages to Berkett's father after learning he kept trying to contact the woman. Federal officials say Berkett appears to have responded by saying "consider this matter closed."

In his plea agreement, Berkett admitted to soliciting and paying for murder-for-hire services on a darknet website claiming to offer such services, soon after being contacted by the woman's family. Berkett gave details about the woman and directions to her, and sent $13,000 in bitcoin to the group, prosecutors said.

When an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a hitman contacted him in May, Berkett confirmed the pictures that the officer sent were of the woman and that he made bitcoin payments to have her murdered, according to the plea agreement. Prosecutors say Berkett also sent another $1,000 to the undercover officer via Western Union and requested proof of the woman's murder.

Berkett is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12, when he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.

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