U.S. arrests millennial couple for allegedly laundering bitcoin from $4.5 billion heist

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it seized $3.6 billion worth of bitcoin last week, recovering about 94,000 of the roughly 119,754 bitcoin stolen in a 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. The feds also arrested a couple they say tried to launder the pilfered bitcoin, worth about $70 billion when it was stolen but $4.5 billion now. The married couple, Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan, 31, were arrested in Manhattan without incident Tuesday morning.

"In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity, the defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions." said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. "The message to criminals is clear: Cryptocurrency is not a safe haven. We can and we will follow the money, no matter what form it takes." She said the recovered bitcoin marks the Justice Department's "largest financial seizure ever."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us