The U.S. Department of Justice has announced today that they had seized $3.6 billion worth of  Bitcoin  stolen in the hack of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange in 2016. Furthermore, the authorities have managed to arrest a husband and his wife for their alleged involvement in the theft.

Prosecutors disclosed that they managed to trace the stolen funds, worth almost 120,000 Bitcoins, through an intricate web of transactions conducted to hide their origins, to a cryptocurrency wallet controlled by Ilya Lichtenstein, a 34-year-old man, and his 31-year-old wife, Heather Morgan.

The authorities stated that they arrested the couple this morning in Manhattan. Since then, the pair have been arranged to appear in court later on in the day on charges associated with conspiracy to commit  money laundering  and to defraud the U.S. government.

In addition, prosecutors revealed that the recovery of all of the Bitcoins stolen in the 2016 hack has not been made and, therefore, stated that the investigation is still ongoing. Moreover, the officials disclosed that the couple had been slowly laundering the funds, as they had transferred an estimated 25,000 Bitcoins into regular fiat currencies, gold and bought non-fungible tokens. Additionally, the couple is alleged to have used some of the money to buy Walmart WMT, 0.76% gift cards, which they then used to purchase ordinary items, the prosecutors elaborated.

Kenneth Polite, the assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division commented: “Today, federal law enforcement demonstrates once again that we can follow money through the blockchain, and that we will not allow cryptocurrency to be a safe haven for money laundering or a zone of lawlessness within our financial system. The arrests today show that we will take a firm stand against those who allegedly try to use virtual currencies for criminal purposes.”

Businesses Still Suffer from Cyber Hacks

In August 2016, hackers breached the security systems of Bitfinex crypto exchange, and as result stole 119,755 Bitcoins. The crypto firm learned a painful lesson in terms of addressing the security issues and vulnerabilities associated with the theft. In August 2020, the popular exchange announced a reward as part of its effort to recover the stolen funds. The company stated that individuals who put the exchange in contact with the hackers would get 5% of the entire property recovered, and the hackers would receive 25% of the total property recovered. The aggregate rewards available under the programme during that time were worth about $400 million of Bitcoin if all bitcoins were fully recovered.

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced today that they had seized $3.6 billion worth of  Bitcoin  stolen in the hack of Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange in 2016. Furthermore, the authorities have managed to arrest a husband and his wife for their alleged involvement in the theft.

Prosecutors disclosed that they managed to trace the stolen funds, worth almost 120,000 Bitcoins, through an intricate web of transactions conducted to hide their origins, to a cryptocurrency wallet controlled by Ilya Lichtenstein, a 34-year-old man, and his 31-year-old wife, Heather Morgan.

The authorities stated that they arrested the couple this morning in Manhattan. Since then, the pair have been arranged to appear in court later on in the day on charges associated with conspiracy to commit  money laundering  and to defraud the U.S. government.

In addition, prosecutors revealed that the recovery of all of the Bitcoins stolen in the 2016 hack has not been made and, therefore, stated that the investigation is still ongoing. Moreover, the officials disclosed that the couple had been slowly laundering the funds, as they had transferred an estimated 25,000 Bitcoins into regular fiat currencies, gold and bought non-fungible tokens. Additionally, the couple is alleged to have used some of the money to buy Walmart WMT, 0.76% gift cards, which they then used to purchase ordinary items, the prosecutors elaborated.

Kenneth Polite, the assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division commented: “Today, federal law enforcement demonstrates once again that we can follow money through the blockchain, and that we will not allow cryptocurrency to be a safe haven for money laundering or a zone of lawlessness within our financial system. The arrests today show that we will take a firm stand against those who allegedly try to use virtual currencies for criminal purposes.”

Businesses Still Suffer from Cyber Hacks

In August 2016, hackers breached the security systems of Bitfinex crypto exchange, and as result stole 119,755 Bitcoins. The crypto firm learned a painful lesson in terms of addressing the security issues and vulnerabilities associated with the theft. In August 2020, the popular exchange announced a reward as part of its effort to recover the stolen funds. The company stated that individuals who put the exchange in contact with the hackers would get 5% of the entire property recovered, and the hackers would receive 25% of the total property recovered. The aggregate rewards available under the programme during that time were worth about $400 million of Bitcoin if all bitcoins were fully recovered.