The Justice Department announced Tuesday morning it seized more than $3.6 billion in allegedly stolen bitcoin linked to the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.
PANews, Feb. 9 (Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it had seized $3.6 billion worth of bitcoin linked to the 2016 hack of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were arrested in New York and are expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon on charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and fraud. If convicted, they face up to 25 years in prison. This is the largest financial seizure in the history of the Justice Department, the announcement said.
The DOJ detailed the seizures in a press release, explaining: “According to court documents, after hacking Bitfinex’s systems and initiating more than 2,000 unauthorized transactions, Lichtenstein and Morgan allegedly conspired to launder victims of cybercriminals from the Bitfinex platform. Proceeds of the stolen 119,754 BTC. These unauthorized transactions sent the stolen Bitcoin to a digital wallet controlled by Lichtenstein: Over the past five years, approximately 25,000 stolen Bitcoins were removed from Lichtenstein’s wallet through a complex money laundering process Transferred, some of the stolen funds were deposited into financial accounts controlled by Lichtenstein and Morgan. The stolen funds, including over 94,000 bitcoins, remained in wallets used to receive and store the hackers’ illicit proceeds.”