Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein: All the latest on the NYC couple arrested over alleged Bitfinex $4.5B bitcoin-laundering plot
- A husband and wife in Manhattan have been accused of laundering $4.5 billion in stolen
- Agents found hollowed-out books, encrypted devices, and $40,000 in cash at their apartment.
A New York couple have been accused of taking part in a $4.5 billion plot to launder stolen bitcoins.
The couple are entrepreneurs with deep ties to the tech industry, founding multiple startups over the year — but it's their social media activity that has attracted the most attention. Morgan also performed as a rapper, specializing in surreal and unconventional rhymes about
Morgan and Lichtenstein have been transferred to custody in DC, and will appear in court on Monday when a judge assesses their requests for bail and whether they pose a flight risk.
Latest news about the arrest of Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein:
- Heather Morgan, the rapper and wife in the NYC couple accused of laundering $4.5 billion of stolen bitcoin, can await trial at home
- Agents had to 'wrest' a phone out of the hands of one of the accused bitcoin launderers as she repeatedly tried to lock the device
- The accused bitcoin couple took 'meaningful steps' to establish new identities in Russia and Ukraine: prosecutors
- Friends of the NYC tech couple accused of a historic crypto-laundering scheme are questioning what they knew about the pair
- Suspect in 2016 Bitfinex bitcoin heist made raunchy TikTok raps on her 'hacker mindset' and wrote a cybersecurity article
What to know about the Bitfinex hack:
Bitfinex is a cryptocurrency exchange registered in the British Virgin Islands. In August 2016, hackers managed to breach its security systems and stole roughly 120,000 bitcoin from its customers. The stolen bitcoin was worth roughly $70 million at the time, when the price of bitcoin was around $600.
Bitfinex said at the time that all of its customers would lose 36% of their funds to account for the losses. It also created special digital tokens that recorded customers' losses. Some of the tokens could exchanged for shares of iFinex, the company that operates Bitfinex, while other tokens could be redeemed if the stolen bitcoins were recovered in the future.
The US Department of Justice has said it will create a special court process for victims of the hack to reclaim their stolen bitcoin.
The hackers have never been identified. Morgan and Lichtenstein are accused by federal prosecutors of laundering the bitcoin stolen from Bitfinex, but not of actually stealing the bitcoin in the hack.
- FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried calls for tougher regulations to tackle crypto scams, following arrests linked to $4.5 billion bitcoin hack
- Bitcoin billionaire Mike Novogratz says the $3.6 billion Bitfinex hack recovery is bullish for crypto because it shows the strengths of the blockchain
- Bitfinex cryptocurrency linked to 2016 hack soars 51% after US recovers $3.6 billion, raising hopes that the token will be burned
- A bitcoin exchange that got hacked for $65 million says all its customers will lose 36% of their funds
What to know about cryptocurrency:
Bitcoin is just one of numerous
In the roughly 13 years since bitcoin was created, the value of crypto assets have soared. A culture of devoted crypto believers has flourished, along with a increase in crypto-related crimes.
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