Woman charged in murder-for-hire plot to kill lover's wife (2024)

A 42-year-old woman has been charged in a murder-for-hire plot after she allegedly offered a man sexual favors and $10,000 to kill her lover's wife and adult daughter.

Yue Zhou, of Flushing, Queens, was accused of offering cryptocurrency and cash to successfully execute her plan for the double murder - while completely unaware that the website she was using on the dark web was fictitious.

Chinese national Zhou, who worked as a masseuse for spas across multiple states, also had a dating profile on Match.com, sources told DailyMail.com.

She was arrested on June 5 in Virginia and transported to New York on July 3. On Monday, she was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court by Judge Robert M. Levy and pleaded not guilty. She is being held in jail and didn't make a bail application.

The two victims, who she tried to get killed with the phony hitman, were unharmed.

Yue Zhou,42, of Flushing, was accused of offering cryptocurrency, cash, and even sexual favors to successfully execute her plan for the double murder - while completely unaware that the website she was using on the dark web was fictitious

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York noted that 'newer technologies' includingBitcoinwere used to carry out her scheme the 'end result would have been age-old cold-blooded murder.'

'Her depraved plan was only thwarted because the website she used to set up the murder-for-hire was a scam,' he said.

Zhou allegedly used an alias 'BIGTREE,'and sought to hire a hitman between the dates of March 25, 2019 and April 4, 2019.

At the time, Zhou was havingan affair with her married lover, and had become emotionally invested in the relationship, expressing a desire to get married and have children with him, documents claimed.

Unaware that the hitman website she was using was bogus and run by a third party, she allegedly completed the financial transactions necessary to further her murder-for-hire plot.

During the probe, special agents with Homeland Security Investigations confirmed that a cryptocurrency transaction occurred related to the 'BIGTREE' order.

To pay for the murder, she contacted a Bitcoin exchange service that served as an intermediary, based in Ukraine. She made a $5,000 payment in Bitcoin to the website.

She then provided approximately another $5,000 in cash to a middleman in Brooklyn. After both transactions were made she emailed the hitman-for-hire website administrator to confirm the payments were received.

After making the payment, sheproceeded to give a detailed description of her lover's wife, victim number one.

She gave the fake hitman the woman's home address, work schedule, and the best time of day for the kill - so her lover would have an alibi for the murder.

She continued to secure the murder of her boyfriend's daughter, victim number two.

When she grew suspicious that the hitman website was a scam, she started to send several disturbing threats to the hitman website administrator, threatening physical and sexual violence against the administrator and his family.

In December 2019, Zhou contacted her lover's daughter, who was from an earlier marriage,and sent her threatening messages, according to the documents.

She was arraigned on Monday at the Brooklyn federal courthouse

She allegedly said: 'Warning: I will cut your body into hundred pieces if you guys still don't take responsibilities. I know where you live. I watch you all time.'

In February 2021, Zhou sent a text to a neighbor of her lover's daughter with a proposition of $10,000 and sex to kill the daughter and get rid of her body in a lake.

She said, according to court documents, '[t]hrow her body into the lake. I really don’t want to see her again.'

Around January 2, 2021, cellular data revealed that Zhou contacted the neighbor for victim two, from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Zhou previously worked for short periods of time at multiple spas around the country that are connected to illicit sex work, including a spa in Cheyenne, Wyoming that went under the name Asian Relax Sap on West Lincolnway.

Thespa owner and an employee were arrested in April 2021 for prostitution following an extensive investigation thatdetermined that workers at the spa were offering and performing sexual acts in exchange for money, local reports show.

Zhou worked at the Cheyenne spa in 2020 and 2021.

On June 5, she was arrested at a spa in Virginia pursuant to the arrest warrant issued with her indictment, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Before her arrest, Zhou had also worked at a spa in Marylandthat was also connected to illicit sex work, according to local law enforcement.

Zhou, who faces a lengthy sentence if convicted, is a citizen of China, and does not have permanent legal US status, and therefore, considered a serious flight risk.

The evidence against Zhou included messages to the hitman-for-hire website, text message correspondence, cell site data, IP address information, witness testimony with an identification of the defendant, a cryptocurrency tracing analysis and transaction detail.

'Although the defendant has no prior documented criminal history in the United States, her involvement in a depraved plot to kill Victim-1 speaks volumes as to her characteristics, as does her later targeting of Victim-2, the adult daughter of Victim-1’s Spouse,' the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Her next court date is scheduled for July 31.

Woman charged in murder-for-hire plot to kill lover's wife (2024)

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