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Beverly Hills man pleads guilty to hiring hit man to kill woman he briefly dated

Scott Quinn Berkett  in a booking photo
Scott Quinn Berkett, who was arrested last spring, pleaded guilty this week to attempting to hire a hit man to kill a woman who had ended her relationship with him.
(U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California)
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A Beverly Hills man pleaded guilty in federal court this week to attempting to hire a hit man to kill a woman he had dated, prosecutors said.

Scott Quinn Berkett, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of using interstate facilities to commit murder for hire and faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in September, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

Berkett was arrested last spring after he attempted to hire an undercover FBI agent to kill a woman who had ended her relationship with him, investigators wrote in an affidavit.

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Berkett met the woman on social media and exchanged messages with her before she flew to L.A. to meet him in 2020.

In interviews with law enforcement, the woman said Berkett was sexually aggressive toward her, and she ended their relationship after the trip.

But Berkett continued to contact her until a family member tried to reach his father to inform him of the situation, according to the affidavit.

Berkett, using his father’s phone to respond, said the woman was blocked on social media, and he would “consider this matter closed.”

The man who shot and killed two El Monte police officers this week could have faced additional time in prison, but may have received a lighter sentence as a result of one of Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascon’s policies regarding ‘prior strike’ convictions. A judge later deemed the policy illegal.

June 16, 2022

An investigative media organization informed the FBI that Berkett had reached out to a group on the dark web to inquire about murder-for-hire services.

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The group was part of a scam, investigators said in the affidavit.

Berkett sent the group bitcoin payments totaling around $13,000, investigators said, and wrote: “I’d like it to look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better. So long as she is dead.”

Posing as a hit man, the undercover FBI agent contacted Berkett on WhatsApp and sent him photos of the woman. Berkett confirmed that the woman in the photos was the target and told the agent that he had already made bitcoin payments.

They discussed details of the proposed murder, including how the scene should appear, and Berkett requested a photo of the woman’s tattoo as proof that she had been killed.

The agent asked Berkett for an additional $1,000, which he provided the next day, according to the affidavit.

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