Cringe Raps and $5 Billion in Stolen Bitcoin
Paris Marx is joined by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai to discuss the arrest of Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan for trying to launder the $5 billion in Bitcoin stolen in the 2016 Bitfinex hack, how they were moving the money, how the authorities found them, and what lessons the case might hold.
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai is senior staff writer at Motherboard. Follow Lorenzo on Twitter at @lorenzofb.
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- Lorenzo wrote about the arrest of the couple and Heather Morgan’s cringe raps as Razzlekhan. Along with Motherboard colleagues, he also dug deep into the couple’s history and online presence.
- The Bitcoin they held and tried to launder came from the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.
- People who knew Morgan told the New York Times her social media presence was “part of an elaborate act to confront social pressures.”
- In 2014, Mt. Gox was hacked and shut down. It was an exchange handling 70% of Bitcoin transactions.
- Criminals laundered $8.6 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021, up 30% from the year before.
- AlphaBay was a darkweb crypto marketplace that was seized by authorities in 2017.
- On Feb 14, Heather Morgan was released on bail, but Ilya Lichtenstein remained in detention.