Bitfinex Hack Suspect Reportedly Negotiating a Plea Deal


In brief:

  • Heather Morgan is reportedly negotiating a plea deal with authorities to avoid jail time
  • Morgan was arrested alongside her husband for attempting to launder cryptocurrency stolen during the 2016 Bitfinex Hack
  • Ms. Morgan is a rapper and entrepreneur who is currently out of jail on a $3 million bond bail

The lawyers of one of the suspects arrested in connection with the attempted laundering of $3.6 billion Bitcoin hacked from Bitfinex in 2016 are currently negotiating a plead deal with a federal prosecutor.

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Through her lawyers, the suspect, Heather Morgan, is exploring a plea deal that will resolve her criminal case without her serving time for the charges against her.

Ms. Morgan, who also doubles up as a rapper and entrepreneur, is currently out of jail on a $3 million bond bail. She appeared before a Washington D.C. federal court on Monday via phone from her home in New York City, as part of court proceedings related to her charges. She is charged alongside her husband, Ilya Lichtenstein, who was not present at the hearing.

The couple was arrested in early February by officials from the Department of Justice for attempting to launder over $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin linked to the 2016 hack on the Bitfinex exchange.

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According to the Department of Justice, the couple used sophisticated techniques including false identities to set up online trading accounts. They then utilized computer programs to automate multiple transactions to deposit the stolen funds into the accounts set up at various crypto exchanges and darknet markets. The couple then proceeded to withdraw the funds, convert them to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, leaving a long web of transactions in an attempt to obfuscate their origins.

To note is that neither of the suspects is charged with orchestrating the Bitfinex hack in 2016.  The charges are strictly linked to money laundering and conspiracy to defraud the United States. If convicted, the first charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, with the latter carrying a maximum of 5 years.


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