Justice Department seizes $3.6B in bitcoin in its major finance bust at any time

Authorities explained they seized stolen bitcoin by getting access to the non-public keys of a electronic wallet that contained the cryptocurrency.


Angela Lang/CNET

The US Justice Department seized on Tuesday $3.6 billion in bitcoin that it claims is connected to the 2016 hack of the Hong Kong cryptocurrency trade Bitfinex, which was just one of the world’s most important crypto corporations. Authorities also arrested two persons in Manhattan, charging them with conspiracy to launder cryptocurrency stolen all through the hack. The bitcoin total taken in the hack is now valued at $4.5 billion.

Officers seized about 94,000 bitcoin from Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his spouse, Heather Morgan, 31. The DOJ stated that the seized bitcoin are valued at $3.6 billion, generating this the most significant money seizure in the department’s historical past. The seizure demonstrates that regulation enforcement can follow dollars by way of the blockchain, the DOJ mentioned.   

“We will not allow cryptocurrency to be a safe and sound haven for cash laundering or a zone of lawlessness in our economic technique,” Kenneth Polite Jr., assistant attorney typical for the DOJ’s criminal division, said in a assertion.

As momentous as the bust is, Morgan has garnered a large amount of money of interest for the reason that of her odd on the net past. On her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as an economist, entrepreneur and irreverent rapper. That’s led to viral sharing of articles or blog posts she’s written for the likes of Forbes, together with 1 titled: “Gurus share tips to defend your business from cybercriminals.” That short article consists of comments from BitGo, which delivered safety assist for Bitfinex at the time of the

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