Dr. David Crichton, a former GP from Bournemouth, Dorset, had blamed his financial advisor for the loss of almost $400,000 from his pension fund. After discovering the losses and that his financial advisor had provided poor advice, the retired GP sent suicide notes to his financial advisor. And then he signed up for Crimebay—a fake hitman site on the darknet—and almost paid a hitman to kill his financial advisor. At a recent hearing, the court cleared the the murder-for-hire charges. The court fined him for sending malicious communication.
Evidence from a seized Crimebay server directly connected the retired doctor to an unfinished murder-for-hire order, authorities revealed. However, after hearing that Dr. Crichton had not planned on actually sending any Bitcoin to pay for the murder of his former financial advisor, Justice Dingemans at Winchester Crown Court acquitted the “self-absorbed” man of the murder-for-hire charges.
That left three charges of sending malicious communication. According to the former financial advisor—a regulated advisor and pension planner named Andrew Bolden—Crichton sent two text messages and placed one phone call to Bolden’s cellphone. Crichton, according to his own defense attorney, had received such “poor guidance” from Bolden regarding his pension that he grew consumed by his feelings of both rage and sadness. The alleged “poor guidance” had resulted in the loss of almost $400,000.
A regulatory board ruled that Bolden had given fiscally sound advice.
In the phone call, Crichton told his former financial advisor, “you are the only person who can help save my life.” He conveyed the message through text that unless Bolden returned his messages, he would commit suicide. According to Bolden, the stress of his client’s potential suicide had an impact on his own family life. He eventually dealt with the stress somehow. Fortunately for Bolden, his methods made no use of the scam murder-for-hire site “Crimebay.”
The former doctor had fallen into a deep depression after losing the money, his attorney explained. “He was attempting to address the demons in his own head when nothing the clinical physicians had offered had worked.” He made several unsuccessful attempts at eliminating his depression and suicidal thoughts. This, his attorney explained, was the reason the NCA had found messages calling for Bolden’s death on Crimebay. Crichton said he had only entered the information about Bolden to “clear his head.” He had hoped the act would help with his depression, he said.
In the former doctor’s defense, his Reddit posts and comments actually reflected the fact that he knew the sites were nothing more than scams. In one thread where a Reddit use asked about the legitimacy of Crimebay and Besa Mafia, the former doctor wrote, “it is a money making scam that was previously Besa hitman site then Crimebay then Sicilian hitman and now Cosa Nostra – all run by the same admin.” He also pointed out that the owner has continued to post fake reviews online as his customers get arrested.
The judge fined Crichton roughly $7,800 for the three malicious threat charges and then let the man leave.