A retired British doctor is accused of ordering the contract killing of his financial advisor for losing almost $400,000 from his retirement accounts, according to U.K.-based newspaper The Telegraph.
Arguing at a trial in Winchester Crown Court, prosecutors said the doctor “pursued a five-year vendetta against [the advisor] after accusing him of providing disastrous financial investment advice.”
David Crichton allegedly contacted Chechen mobsters via “the dark web” and paid them almost $5,000 in bitcoin to murder the advisor, according to prosecutors. On the encrypted dark website for “Chechen mob,” according to the report, there was an online menu of options to “kill the b******,” including “beat the s*** out of him,” “set his car on fire” and “set his house on fire.”
“The defendant’s intention could not be clearer. The steps he took were very clearly an attempt to solicit, ask for, request, seek a murder,” according to the prosecutor. The actions were discovered by officers from the National Crime Agency who had been monitoring the site. Crichton is also alleged to have sent the advisor threatening text messages with the aim of making the advisor believe Crichton was about to commit suicide.
Prosecutors said Crichton found the advisor through a seminar the advisor held in Bournemouth in 2011 on managing National Health Service pensions. He hired the advisor to help manage his $2.3 million pension, according to the report, but lost $400,000 by failing to comply with tax laws and incurring fines.
The advisor, who works for the London-based private bank Shipley Brown, told the court Crichton delayed and missed deadlines, then blamed the advisor for the penalties. A financial regulator found the advice was sound and the bank was not at fault.
“The prosecutor said Dr. Crichton told police in interview that he had been ‘drunk and feeling suicidal’ when he accessed the dark website, and had become obsessed with hitmen but had ‘thought it was a game and it wasn’t real’,” according to The Telegraph.