The woman reportedly flew to Los Angeles from an unnamed city in October 2020 to meet Berkett. The Daily Beast, citing the criminal complaint, reports the woman "had sex with Berkett but felt pressured to do so."
The Justice Department also wrote the woman described Berkett's behavior as "sexually aggressive." She tried breaking up with him after the trip, but Berkett allegedly became "very possessive" and would "constantly" message her on several social media platforms, the Daily Beast reports, citing the complaint.
According to the Justice Department, one of the woman's family members reached out to Berkett's father via text message about the younger Berkett's communication with the woman. Scott Berkett reportedly took his father's phone and responded "consider this matter closed."
Berkett, an engineer, allegedly found a group on the dark web advertising murder-for-hire services. The group reportedly contacted an unnamed media outlet, who then sent information to the FBI regarding Berkett's request. The Daily Beast reports investigators could not verify the messages from the media source, but they were able to track his payments to a Coinbase wallet.
He reportedly made $13,000 in Bitcoin payments between April 5 and May 5. His final $1,000 payment was made Thursday afternoon through Western Union.
On April 28, Berkett allegedly ordered the hit and wrote: "I’d like it to look like an accident, but robbery gone wrong may work better. So long as she is dead. I’d also like for her phone to be retrieved and destroyed irreparably in the process."
An undercover FBI agent posed as the hitman. According to the Daily Beast, he allegedly wrote in another message to the hitman that he wanted "proof" of the woman's death.
He allegedly wrote, "She has a distinctive tattoo on one of her forearms that I know the image of, so a photo of her corpse and a photo of her tattoo for identification would work."