In August 2016, the landscape of cryptocurrencies was quite different from what we see now. Bitcoin hovered around triple figures and exchanges were still quite insecure platforms. In August 2016, Bitfinex suffered an attack, with hackers taking almost 120,000 bitcoins from the platform. The price of the crypto sank, as many users feared that it was a new Mt. Gox case. Since then, many experts follow the whereabouts of stolen bitcoins through public transactions that are written on the blockchain. In mid-2021, news broke that the loot was in circulation ready to be mixed and laundered. Finally, a most peculiar couple has been arrested for money laundering. And… maybe the thing is for a movie.
An ex-Forbes rapper and her Wall Street shark husband
A married couple has been arrested for Money laundering and fraud to the Treasury of the United States. The FBI got to them by following the famous bitcoins stolen in the summer of 2016 on the opaque Bitfinex platform.
Among those arrested is Heather Rhiannon Morgan 31 years old, who wrote for Forbes and rapped under the name Razzlekhan. And on the other hand, Ilya Lichtensteina 34-year-old Russian, a Wall Street trading expert. According to what the feds have investigated, the two members of the couple come from the financial sector and know sophisticated money laundering techniques. They could face between 5 and 20 years in prison.
Who really is Razzlekhan?
Heather Rhiannon Morgan did not hide being a versatile girl. She defined herself as businesswoman, artist, rapper and writer in Forbes. Interestingly, as BuzzFeed has discovered, Morgan wrote numerous times in Forbes about how to protect yourself from cybercriminals. The Internet will never cease to amaze us.
In addition to his facet of alleged criminal, Morgan was developing his career as influencer, specifically, within the world of rap. She had already published several music videos on YouTube, and in an interview she had even said that she was willing to confront with her art anyone who oppresses singularity and individual expression, in clear reference to Wall Street and the companies based in Silicon Valley. . Another nice contradiction for a person who was allegedly doing ‘chain hopping’, which is what is called the process of quickly changing bitcoin from one hand to another (using computer programs) to hide the money trail and so on. ‘launder’ cryptocurrency.
What else do we know about this case?
The FBI has not really given much information about the detained couple, but only with the aliases, social network users identified quickly to the rapper and her partner.
FBI agents claim that, in 2016, the 119,754 bitcoins that were extracted from Bitfinex went to a wallet owned by Lichtenstein. The Department of Justice seized the private keys to access 94,000 of those bitcoins, which, at the current exchange rate, amount to $3.6 billionwhich makes this operation the largest financial seizure in the agency’s history. They also assure that the remaining 25,000 have already been laundered and are deposited in the personal wallets of the members of the couple.