A Manhattan couple has been arrested in connection to a massive cryptocurrency hacking in 2016.
Ilya ‘Dutch Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, are accused of laundering roughly $4.5 billion worth of Bitcoin in connection to the incident, the New York Post reports.
The couple is accused of concealing the 119,754 Bitcoin it obtained after a hacker breached the systems of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016.
The hacked crypto was reportedly then transferred to a digital wallet controlled by Lichtenstein whose describes himself on his LinkedIn page bio as a “technology entrepreneur, coder and investor. Interested in blockchain technology, automation, and big data.”
The couple then moved the funds obtained to their own accounts, which prosecutors involved in their case described as “a complicated money laundering process,” according to the Post.
A criminal complaint unsealed on Tuesday (February 8) accuses Lichtenstein and Morgan — who rapped under the name ‘Razzlekhan‘ — of using the illegally obtained cryptocurrency to purchase gold, NFTs and a $500 Walmart gift card, the Post reports.
The couple also reportedly “employed numerous sophisticated laundering techniques” such as launching online accounts under fake identities and transferring money through the darknet as part of their laundering scheme, according to prosecutors via the Post.
Prosecutors said the couple was found to have kept a bag filled with cellphones labeled “burner phones” inside their apartment and Lichtenstein — who has dual Russia-U.S. citizenship — had a file labeled “passport_ideas” on his computer.
The Justice Department confirmed special agents successfully recovered more than $3.6 billion in Bitcoin in connection to the Bitfinex hack, which was the largest financial seizure in history.