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rent-a-hitman US woman tried to hire hitman on joke website to kill her ex-husband, court told

Bob Innes, who set up rent-a-hitman.com in 2005, said: 'I thought nobody can be that stupid, and boy have I been proven wrong'

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Wendy Wein. Photo: Michigan State Police

Wendy Wein. Photo: Michigan State Police

Wendy Wein. Photo: Michigan State Police

A woman in Michigan is facing nine years in prison for attempting to hire an assassin to kill her ex-husband after filling in an application form on a joke website called rent-a-hitman.com.

Wendy Wein contacted the site, insisting she wanted to be connected to a "field operative" in follow-up emails.

However, instead of linking up with a hitman, her details were handed over to police, who set up an undercover sting near Detroit.

Officers posing as assassins were offered $5,000 (€4,425) and handed a $200 (€175) down payment for travel expenses because her former husband lived in another state.

Wein has now pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation for murder and use of a computer to commit a crime, and will be sentenced next month.

Bob Innes, who set up the website in 2005, said: "I thought nobody can be that stupid, and boy have I been proven wrong."

Michael Peterson, of Michigan State Police, who led the case, said: "What stood out the most about this case was the foolishness of the suspect… attempting to hire a hitman from a website."

The site has a number of "red flags" that should put people off, Mr Innes said, including "100pc compliance with HIPPA (Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964.)"

Fake testimonials say: "My business schedule is too busy to get my hands dirty with HR issues, so I consulted with RAH and they handled my disgruntled employee issue promptly while I was out of town on vacation. Gracias!"

Another adds: "Caught my husband cheating with the babysitter and our relationship was terminated after a free consultation. I'm single again and looking to mingle."

Wein - who emailed Mr Innes to say, "This is kind of weird that your company is not on the deep or dark web" - is not the first person to be fooled by the site.

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What started as a website for an internet security business has turned, by accident, into online bait for people looking to get their enemies killed.

It lay dormant for years, until Mr Innes logged in to find hundreds of emails asking for people to be murdered.

It has also led to convictions. In 2018, Devon Fauber told an officer posing as a hitman that he wanted to kill three relatives so he could take care of his ex-girlfriend's three-year-old daughter. Fauber was sentenced in 2019 to 10 years in prison.

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