Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, were arrested for conspiring to launder Cryptocurrency now valued at $4.5 billion. Continue reading this article to explore the incident.
The Justice Department revealed Tuesday that it had recovered more than $3.6 billion in bitcoin allegedly stolen in a 2016 Bitfinex breach, as well as arresting and charging a husband and woman in New York for allegedly attempting to launder the cryptocurrency riches.
Officials say the case is the largest single seizure of cash in Justice Department history, and it’s the most high-profile prosecution to come out of the agency’s recently announced initiative to pursue cryptocurrency-related crimes.
Officials with the Justice Department warned that while the rise of cryptocurrencies and virtual currency exchanges is a positive trend, it has also been accompanied by money laundering, malware, and other criminal activity.
DOJ: Who Is Heather Morgan? Ilya Lichtenstein Wife Charged With Crypto Laundering
Heather Morgan, 31, and Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, were detained on allegations of money laundering conspiracy.
They are suspected of attempting to launder 119,754 bitcoin stolen after a hacker broke into Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange, and made over 2,000 unlawful transactions.
The bitcoin was transmitted to a digital wallet held by Lichtenstein, according to prosecutors.
Officials said the stolen bitcoin, which was worth $71 million at the time of the heist, is now worth $4.5 billion.
On Tuesday morning, the pair were detained in Manhattan. It was unclear whether they had attorneys or others who could advocate for them.
In a written statement, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, Cryptocurrency is not a safe refuge for criminals.
She said that the defendants’ efforts to launder the stolen bitcoin via a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions were ultimately ineffective in this case.
Law enforcement once again demonstrated that it could and will pursue the money, no matter what shape it takes, thanks to their thorough work.
Heather Morgan Net Worth Details – How Rich Is She?
Heather and her husband Lichtenstein’s precise net worth has not been publicized at this time.
However, because they were transacting bitcoin in the millions and billions, they most likely had a billion dollars in digital currency. Nevertheless, as they are caught, and it seems that their bitcoins are taken from other individuals, the couple’s net worth might drastically change.
Bitfinex has previously offered a reward of up to $100 million for information leading to restoring the stolen assets.
It was unclear if the government’s case against Lichtenstein and Morgan was influenced by the incentive offer.
About 94,000 of the 119,754 stolen bitcoins, worth an estimated $3.6 billion, were seized, according to federal officials.
The value of a cryptocurrency is usually stated in dollars and is determined by public trading done by exchange houses; nevertheless, the value of a cryptocurrency can vary dramatically.
Further details on the case are yet to be updated. Please stick to us till then.