The US Department of Justice revealed on Tuesday that it seized more than $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoins that was stolen in 2016 from the crypto exchange Bitfinex. According to a release, Bitcoin’s value at the time it was recovered represents the largest crypto seizure ever made by the Department of Justice. The Bitcoin that was stolen during the 2016 hack of Bitfinex was valued at approximately $4.5 billion.
Two suspects were arrested in Manhattan for allegedly trying to launder the proceeds.
According to the Justice Department, two suspects were arrested in Manhattan for allegedly trying to launder the proceeds. Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, both of New York, are scheduled to make their first appearances in federal court Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan, the Justice Department said. The couple allegedly conspired to launder 119,754 Bitcoin stolen after a hacker breached Bitfinex’s systems and launched more than 2,000 unauthorized transactions. Federal prosecutors said that the transactions were placed in a digital wallet that Lichtenstein owned.
25,000 of the stolen Bitcoins in the last five years were transferred out of Lichtenstein’s wallet.
Nearly 25,000 of the stolen Bitcoins in the last five years were transferred out of Lichtenstein’s wallet via a lengthy and complicated laundering process that ended with some of the stolen funds being deposited into financial accounts controlled by Lichtenstein and Morgan. The remainder of the stolen funds, which make up more than 94,000 Bitcoin, remained in the wallet used to receive and store the illegal proceeds from the hack. “We’re pleased that DOJ has recovered a significant portion of the bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack,” Bitfinex said.