Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, a couple from New York involved in the alleged laundering of $4.5 billion in bitcoin, which was stolen during the 2016 Bitfinex cyber-attack, have recently struck a plea deal, as disclosed by court records. The couple is scheduled to appear before U.S. judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 3, 2023, where they will be required to surrender all their cryptocurrency assets and funds that they possessed prior to their arrest.
Historic Plea Deal Sees NY Duo Forfeit Over $2.8B
The Department of Justice had arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan on February 8, 2023, on charges of conspiring to launder the proceeds from the theft of 119,754 bitcoins from Bitfinex. While Morgan was granted bail in July 2022 and allowed to seek lawful employment, her husband remained in custody. Now, after a year of Morgan’s release on certain conditions, both individuals have come to an agreement with the government.
According to court documents filed on July 20 and 21, 2023, Lichtenstein and Morgan are scheduled to face U.S. judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 3. As part of the plea deal, they are required to surrender approximately 94,643.29837084 BTC, with a value of $2.8 billion based on July 21 exchange rates. Besides BTC, the couple’s crypto portfolio includes other digital currencies, all of which will also be forfeited to the U.S. government.
The additional coins to be surrendered consist of 117,376.52651940 bitcoin cash (BCH) and an equivalent amount of bitcoinsv (BSV). The couple must also give up 118,102.03258447 bitcoin gold (BTG), 29,016.98 monero (XMR), a collection of USDC held across multiple blockchains, .879544 curve dao (CRV) tokens, and 7,389,269.171 tether (USDT). Furthermore, investigators discovered several thousand ETH and WETH stored at the couple’s Manhattan residence.
In addition to the cryptocurrency, the government also plans to confiscate various U.S. and Canadian gold coins owned by the duo. Additionally, funds from their bank accounts, such as $228,266 from a JPMorgan Chase account, $2,460,375 from a Flagstar bank account previously linked to a Signature Bank account (before the bank’s collapse), and approximately $352,381.55 from a Wells Fargo bank account, are all earmarked for seizure, as stated in the court documents filed on July 20, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bitfinex hack
What is the Bitfinex hack laundering case involving the NY couple?
The Bitfinex hack laundering case involves Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, a couple based in New York, who were allegedly involved in laundering $4.5 billion in bitcoin stolen during the 2016 Bitfinex cyber-attack.
What is the status of the NY couple’s case?
As of now, Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan have reached a plea bargain and are scheduled to appear before U.S. judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly on August 3, 2023.
What does the plea deal entail?
What other digital currencies will be forfeited by the couple?
Apart from bitcoin, the couple is required to relinquish other cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoinsv (BSV), bitcoin gold (BTG), monero (XMR), USDC, curve dao (CRV) tokens, tether (USDT), and several thousand ETH and WETH.
What additional assets are targeted for seizure?
In addition to their crypto holdings, the government plans to confiscate various U.S. and Canadian gold coins, as well as funds from their bank accounts, including JPMorgan Chase, Flagstar, and Wells Fargo accounts.
When were the couple arrested?
Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were arrested on February 8, 2023, for allegedly conspiring to launder the proceeds from the Bitfinex hack.
How long has Heather Morgan been released on bail?
Heather Morgan was granted bail in July 2022 and has been out on certain terms for approximately one year before reaching the plea deal.
What are the charges against the NY couple?
The couple is charged with conspiring to launder the proceeds obtained from the theft of 119,754 bitcoins from Bitfinex during the cyber-attack in 2016.
What are the potential implications of this case?
Is there any further information available on the court proceedings?
For more detailed information about the court proceedings and updates on the case, individuals can refer to the court documents filed on July 20 and 21, 2023.
More about Bitfinex hack
- Plea Bargain
- Bitfinex Hack
- Money Laundering
- Cryptocurrency Forfeiture
- NY Couple’s Case
- US Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
- Financial Crime
- Cryptocurrency Seizure
- JPMorgan Chase
- Flagstar Bank
- Wells Fargo