The notorious “Crypto Couple” Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan pled guilty on Thursday to money laundering conspiracies relating to the massive 2016 hack on the crypto exchange Bitfinex.
Lichtenstein also copped to executing the hack himself, clearing up years of mystery regarding how the couple first came into possession of the stolen Bitcoin (BTC) from Bitfinex.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) says Lichtenstein used “a number of advanced hacking tools and techniques” to crack Bitfinex’s network and fraudulently authorize more than 2,000 transactions. In total, he transferred 119,754 BTC, worth a staggering $3.5 billion at time of writing, to a wallet under his control.
After securing the stolen Bitcoin, the DOJ says that Lichtenstein and Morgan used a series of complex strategies to try and obfuscate their digital paper trail.
According to the DOJ, the couple sent the crypto to darknet markets and mixers, utilized fake identities, tapped US-based business accounts to legitimize their banking activity and exchanged some of the stolen BTC for gold coins, which Morgan buried.
Lichtenstein pled guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to commit money laundering, and Morgan pled guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. He’s facing up to 20 years in prison, and she’s facing up to 10.
Morgan is a former Forbes columnist and chief executive of a copywriting firm. She’s also an idiosyncratic YouTube rapper known as “Razzlekhan.”
Lichtenstein, who also goes by the name “Dutch,” describes himself on LinkedIn as a “technology entrepreneur, coder and investor.”
A television limited series about the couple titled “Razzlekhan: The Infamous Crocodile of Wall Street” is reportedly in development at Hulu.Don't Miss a Beat – Subscribe to get email alerts delivered directly to your inbox
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