A gripping tale of cybercrime unfolds as a New York couple faces charges for laundering billions of dollars’ worth of bitcoins linked to the notorious 2016 Bitfinex exchange hack. As reported by The Block, Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan are set to enter a plea deal with the prosecutor’s office, with a hearing scheduled for early August.
The duo was apprehended by US authorities back in February 2022, with a stunning haul of 94,643 BTC ($3.6 billion at the time) out of the 119,754 BTC stolen from the exchange.
Heather Morgan was released on $3 million bail, while Ilya Lichtenstein remains in custody, awaiting their fate. The gravity of their actions puts them at risk of a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars.
The stakes are high, and after striking a deal with the couple, the prosecutor’s office might seize the cryptocurrency related to this intricate investigation.
In a surprising twist, the US Department of Homeland Security recently returned a portion of the stolen funds to Bitfinex in July. The recovery included 6,917 BCH and $312,219.7 in cash, providing a glimmer of hope amidst the dark shadows of cybercrime.