White Collar Criminals
We’ve discussed many cryptocurrency hacks on Invstr Crunch. Last year, cyber criminals around the world stole a record $14 billion in crypto. Many crypto scammers get away scot-free, using the anonymity of crypto to their advantage. However, many scammers aren’t so lucky or careful. On Tuesday, the FBI successfully caught two cyber criminals living in New York who allegedly tried to launder over $4.5 billion in stolen cryptocurrency–this story is mind-blowing.
34-year-old Ilya Lichtenstein and his 31-year-old wife, Heather Morgan, were arrested Tuesday morning for the 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. After a hacker attacked Bitfinex and made over 2,000 fraudulent transactions, the couple is accused of conspiring to launder 119,754 Bitcoin. The transactions were worth $71 million in Bitcoin at the time, but because of the rise in Bitcoin’s value, they are now worth over $4.5 billion.
Law enforcement officials have already seized over $3.6 billion in bitcoin from the hack, and it’s the largest financial seizure in US history. Due to the meticulous work of the FBI, officials tracked down some of the stolen funds.
Just who are Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan? Mr. Liechtenstein describes himself as a “technology entrepreneur, coder and investor.” Ms. Morgan is a former economist, writer for Forbes, and entrepreneur. Something that’s unique about Ms. Morgan, is that she’s also a surrealist artist and she raps under the name “Razzlekhan.” In one of her songs, she raps “Bitcoin, Ethereum, HODL! AMC, GameStop, YOLO!/The hedgies short squeeze with ease… But they say no pump n dumps please?!”
There’s one glaring concern about this story. If the couple were the ones who laundered the bitcoin, who stole it?
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.