A RAPPER who calls herself the ‘Alligator of Wall Street’ and her tech entrepreneur husband were arrested by federal agents for money laundering on Tuesday.
Heather Morgan, 31, and Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, 34, allegedly laundered a $4.5 billion crypto asset in Bitcoin after the Bitfinex exchange was hacked in 2016.
The odd hipster couple from New York allegedly moved 119,754 Bitcoins into a digital wallet controlled by her husband, a dual citizen of Russia and the United States, after a hacker breached the exchange. cryptocurrency and made more than 2,000 unauthorized transactions, according to court documents.
At the time of the theft, 119,754 Bitcoins were worth about $71 million. After years of increasing value of cryptocurrency, the amount is now around $4.5 billion.
Federal officials were able to seize about 94,000 stolen bitcoins, with an estimated value of $3.6 billion.
Officials say it is the largest money seizure in the Department of Justice’s history and the most famous since the agency announced its initiative to seriously investigate crypto crimes. than.
“Today’s arrests and the department’s largest-ever financial forfeiture show that cryptocurrencies are not a safe haven for criminals,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said, calling money laundering a “futile attempt to maintain digital anonymity”.
“Thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department once again shows how it can and will obey money, whatever form it takes.”
Based on court papersthe couple allegedly spent part of the stolen money.
Prosecutors say what they spent was gold, NFTS and “completely mundane things like buying a Walmart gift card for $500.”
Although the stolen funds were from Bitfinex, court documents do not charge the duo with the hack – it remains unclear whether the pair are suspected of stealing funds.
“As the lawsuit alleges, the FBI and federal prosecutors were able to track the movement of Bitcoin from this hack,” said United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves.
Graves also added that the funds transferred through a large darknet exchange called AlphaBay were tied to a range of criminals.
The government will seek to return the stolen funds to the rightful owners, according to officials.
“Bitfinex will work with the DOJ and follow the appropriate legal processes to establish our right to the return of stolen bitcoins,” Bitfinex said in a written statement.
The pair were arrested in Manhattan on Tuesday morning.
Lichtenstein was ordered to be held at home on Tuesday with a wearable GPS and a $5 million fine while Morgan was given the same sentence but with a $3 million fine, according to CoinDesk.
Lichtenstein has worked as a technology entrepreneur and describes himself in online profiles as an “angel investor”.
Morgan, stage name Razzlekhanis a part-time rapper and Forbes contributor who also runs an email marketing company.
On Morgan’s website about her rapping career, she calls herself “Wall Street’s infamous Alligator,” who is “as fearless and shameless as ever.”
In music videos set in the Financial District, she dedicates her songs to “businessmen and hackers, all the assholes and smart sloths.”
The couple got engaged in 2019, according to last name Posts on Facebook.
“I’m engaged to my best friend and the woman of my dreams!” Lichtenstein wrote.
Morgan and Lichtenstein face off charge Conspiracy to launder money, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17592517/crocodile-wall-street-arrested-stolen-bitcoin-cryptocurrency/ Rapper Heather Morgan Dubbed the ‘Alligator of Wall Street’ and her husband arrested for ‘laundering $4.5 billion in stolen Bitcoin’