May 23, 2024
Policy & Regulation

Crypto Couple Enters Plea Agreement in Bitfinex Hack Case

According to court documents filed on July 21, Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein, a couple allegedly involved in laundering funds from the 2016 Bitfinex crypto exchange hack, have reached a plea agreement with US authorities. The agreement states that they are pleading guilty to three charges, which include two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Per the plea deal, the United States Attorney has mandated the forfeiture of billions of dollars worth of various cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, ether, stablecoins, and cash, from their bank accounts at the time of conviction.

As of now, the potential length of their prison sentences remains unclear. Last year, both defendants faced two conspiracy charges each, carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years.

The new court filing indicates that the objective of the conspiracy was for the defendants, Morgan and Lichtenstein, to illicitly enrich themselves by laundering the proceeds from the hack and fraudulent activities aimed at the virtual currency exchange, Bitfinex while evading detection of their illicit actions.

The accusations against the couple revolve around their alleged involvement in conspiring to launder 119,754 bitcoins, which were valued at approximately $3.5 billion when the exploit occurred on Bitfinex in 2016. Initially, Morgan and her husband, along with their legal representatives, had planned to contest the charges, arguing that there were numerous deficiencies in the government’s evidence and unsupported assumptions.

Photo by EKATERINA BOLOVTSOVA on Pexels

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