Camden County man paid $20k in bitcoin to have 14-year-old murdered

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows representations of cryptocurrency Bitcoin

CAMDEN, N.J. – Federal officials today revealed that a Camden man had paid $20,000 in bitcoin to have a 14-year-old New York boy killed after the boys parents found out about his inappropriate contact with the juvenile.

The child was 13 at the time of the alleged activity.

John Michael Musbach, 31, of Haddonfield, pleaded guilty in federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of knowingly and intentionally using international commerce and the internet for a contracted murder.

The Department of Justice’s case claimed that in the summer of 2015, Musbach exchanged explicit photographs and videos with the victim, a 13-year-old living in New York.

“The victim’s parents found out about the inappropriate contact and contacted the local police,” the DOJ said. “In March 2016, officers from the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office arrested Musbach on child pornography charges and executed a search warrant at his residence, then in Galloway.”

Musbach then was caught communicating with an administrator of a murder-for-hire website on the dark web which purportedly offered contract killings but instead appeared to be a scam operation. He wanted the boy to be killed before he could testify in court against him.

Initially, Musbach paid 40 bitcoin for the contract hit, worth approximately $20,000 at the time. After the hit never happened, he reached out to the administration who then asked for an additional $5,000 to secure the job.

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During the conversations with the administrator, Musbach questioned if the 14-year-old boy was too young for the murder-for-hire service. He never paid the additional $5,000, but asked for a refund of his initial $20,000 payment.

“Musbach decided to have the victim killed so that the victim could not testify against him in the pending criminal case. During the period from May 7, 2016, through May 20, 2016, Musbach repeatedly communicated with the administrator of a murder-for-hire website, which operated on the dark net, and which purported to offer contract killings or other acts of violence in return for payment in cryptocurrency, and arranged for a murder-for-hire,” the DOJ reported. “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. Musbach repeatedly messaged the website’s administrator, following up on the hit and asking when it would occur. When pressed for an additional $5,000 to secure the hit, Musbach eventually 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.”