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Bitfinex hacker, Heather Morgan plead guilty in $4.5B crypto laundering scheme

A New York technology entrepreneur and his wife, an online rapper, pleaded guilty on Thursday to laundering funds stolen from Bitfinex, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Ilya Lichtenstein entered his plea at a hearing before US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington.

His wife Heather Morgan, who used the hip-hop alias “Razzlekhan” to promote her music, faces an additional count of conspiracy to defraud the US.

Lichtenstein and Morgan had been arrested in February 2022 on charges of laundering more than 100,000 bitcoin that was stolen after he hacked Bitfinex in 2016.

The bitcoin was worth $71 million at the time, but had appreciated to more than $4.5 billion by the time of their arrests.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at the time that the $3.6 billion in assets that prosecutors recovered from the couple was the biggest financial seizure in Justice Department history.

Prosecutors want the couple to forfeit $3 billion.

A docket entry in late July shows that Lichtenstein and Morgan reached their plea deal with the US Attorney’s office in Washington.

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