‘Bitcoin Bonnie & Clyde’ Go To Jail 

A husband and wife cyber crime team have pleaded guilty to trying to launder $4.5bn (£3.5bn) of Bitcoin that he had stolen in a hack in 2016. This was the US’s biggest-ever crypto-currency theft case.

Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein were arrested last year in Manhattan, New York after police traced their riches back to the crypto heist. While evading police, Morgan masqueraded as a rapper and tech entrepreneur. As part of a plea deal, Lichtenstein admitted he was behind the hack.

US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, “Today’s arrests, and the department’s largest financial seizure ever, show that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals... In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity, the defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions. Thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department once again showed how it can and will follow the money, no matter what form it takes.”

Lichtenstein has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, which could land him a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. His wife has also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Both counts carry a max of five years in prison, which means that Morgan could serve up to 10 years in jail.

The couple both pleaded guilty to money laundering, but Morgan pleaded guilty to an additional count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

In spite of attempting to cover up her crimes, Morgan published dozens of expletive-filled music videos and rap songs filmed in locations around New York, under the name Razzlekhan.

Morgan also had sidelines in the painting, fashion design and writing worlds, where she pitched herself as a kind of corporate coach. One of her recent pieces was titled, in part, “Tips to Protect Your Business from Cybercriminals” and featured an interview with a cryptocurrency exchange owner about how to prevent fraud. In her lyrics she called herself a "bad-ass money maker" and "the crocodile of Wall Street".

Morgan also claimed to be a successful tech businesswoman, calling herself an "economist, serial entrepreneur, software investor and rapper". But while developing her rapping and tech persona, she and her computer programmer husband were attempting to cash out their fortune stolen from the crypto firm Bitfinex.

The couple now face prison sentences with Lichtenstein in line for a possible maximum 20 years in prison and Morgan a possible 10.

At the time of their arrest their theft of 119,000 Bitcoins was worth about $4.5bn, making it the US Department of Justice's largest single financial seizure in its history. When the hack was carried out, the Bitcoins were worth about $71m.

Court documents showed in detail how the couple cashed out millions of dollars of the Bitfinex Bitcoins into traditional money using sophisticated techniques to try to stay under the radar. The successful police operation is the latest case to utilise tools able to analyse transactions on Bitcoin's public blockchain ledger. One of the couple's key mistakes was shopping with Walmart supermarket vouchers paid for with the stolen funds.

Police successfully decrypted a spreadsheet meticulously detailing the couple's intricate methods for laundering the stash, allowing them to recover nearly the full amount.

Prosecutors say they uncovered communication records that indicate Morgan and Lichtenstein were planning to flee the US for Russia, which is his country of birth. If successful, they would have probably lived a billionaire lifestyle, safe from arrest by the US.

BBC:     Yahoo:     The Guardian:     U.S. Dept of Public Affairs:     The Times:     Yahoo:     Metro

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________

If you like this website and use the comprehensive 6,500-plus service supplier Directory, you can get unrestricted access, including the exclusive in-depth Directors Report series, by signing up for a Premium Subscription.

  • Individual £5 per month or £50 per year. Sign Up
  • Multi-User, Corporate & Library Accounts Available on Request

Cyber Security Intelligence: Captured Organised & Accessible

« EvilProxy Hits Microsoft 365 Business Accounts
X Will Fund Claims Made By Unfairly Treated Users »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout

DigitalStakeout enables cyber security professionals to reduce cyber risk to their organization with proactive security solutions, providing immediate improvement in security posture and ROI.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of automatic cloud backup and critical data protection against ransomware, insider attacks and hackers for businesses and organisations worldwide.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law advise global businesses that buy and sell technology products and services. We are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

TrustedSec

TrustedSec

TrustedSec is an information security consulting services, providing tailored solutions and services for small, mid, and large businesses.

mile2

mile2

Mile2 develop and deliver proprietary vendor neutral professional certifications for the cyber security industry.

Checkmarx

Checkmarx

Checkmarx provides state-of-the-art application security solutions with static code analysis software.

Nutanix

Nutanix

The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform provides performance, robust security, and seamless application mobility for a broad range of enterprise applications.

Ciklum

Ciklum

Ciklum provide specialist software QA and testing services including Security QA and Performance QA, QA Automation and Manual QA.

Bayshore Networks

Bayshore Networks

Bayshore Networks was founded to safely and securely protect Industrial IoT (IIoT) networks, applications, machines and workers from cyber threats.

STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics

ST is a global semiconductor leader delivering intelligent and energy-efficient products and solutions that power the electronics at the heart of everyday life.

XCure Solutions

XCure Solutions

XCure Solutions are a Finnish company specializing in data security, data protection and data recovery.

HudsonCyber

HudsonCyber

HudsonCyber, part of HudsonAnalytix, provides leading cyber risk management services for the global maritime transportation industry.

Cryptosense

Cryptosense

Cryptosense provides the first application security software dedicated to the detection and remediation of crypto vulnerabilities.

Micro Strategies Inc.

Micro Strategies Inc.

Micro Strategies provides IT solutions that help businesses tackle digital transformation in style.

Core to Cloud

Core to Cloud

Core to Cloud provide consultancy and technical support for the planning and implementation of sustainable security strategies.

CYGNVS

CYGNVS

CYGNVS is a guided cyber crisis response platform providing anytime, anyplace access. A SaaS platform for cyber crisis management – a safe way to connect and control your response.

SkillsDA

SkillsDA

SkillsDA is pureplay company in cyber security involved in capacity building towards National Security.

Zeta Sky

Zeta Sky

Zeta Sky offers a full range of IT and cyber-security services for your business.

TetherView

TetherView

TetherView provides leading virtual desktop and email security technology to help businesses stand up and manage digital workspaces.