In the largest financial seizure ever: the US Department of Justice recovers the stolen funds from Bitfinex
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Answer In the largest financial seizure ever: the US Department of Justice recovers the stolen funds from Bitfinex
The FBI has arrested a Manhattan husband and wife on charges of conspiring and laundering large amounts of bitcoin linked to the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex that was hacked in 2016.
According ReutersMore than $3.6 billion worth of cryptocurrency has already been recovered by legal authorities.
The press release identified the responsible couple as Ilia Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan, 31.
The duo is accused of conspiring and laundering 119,754 bitcoins after hackers stole them through more than 20,000 unauthorized Bitfinex transactions in 2016.
Although the funds were only worth $71.8 million at the time of the hack, today it is estimated at more than $4.5 billion.
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This total rivals what MicroStrategy owns, which is currently close to 125,000 bitcoins.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco commented on the seizure, stressing that cryptocurrencies are not a safe haven for criminals.
The arrest comes a week after tens of thousands of bitcoins, the same amount seized today, were seized moving from the hacker’s initial wallet in 2016, via 26 separate transactions.
He told Matthew Graves, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia:
The FBI and federal prosecutors were able to trace the movement of bitcoin from this hack.
The couple are expected to appear in federal court to stand trial for their actions.
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