A New York couple dubbed ‘Bitcoin Bonnie and Crypto Clyde’ arrested on prices of laundering $4.5 billion in stolen Bitcoin led an existence ‘pulled from the pages of a spy novel,’ prosecutors have mentioned.
Ilya ‘Dutch’ Lichtenstein, 34, and his spouse Heather Morgan, 31, are being held in custody following their Tuesday arrest, and can seem earlier than a court docket in Washington DC on Monday.
Federal legislation enforcement officers mentioned they’ve recovered roughly $3.6 billon in cryptocurrency – the Justice Division’s largest ever monetary seizure – linked to the hack of Bitfinex, a digital forex trade primarily based in Hong Kong, whose methods have been breached almost six years in the past.
Morgan had a exceptional on-line presence as an influencer and self-described ‘cringe’ rapper named Razzlekhan, who makes music ‘for the entrepreneurs and hackers, all of the misfits and sensible slackers’.
Prosecutors detailed on Thursday in court docket paperwork a exceptional life-style, full with hollowed-out books, pretend passports and burner telephones.
Pictures confirmed the books, and ziplock luggage filled with money.
Ilya Lichtenstein and his spouse Heather Morgan have been arrested on Tuesday and charged with cash laundering
Bail for Ilya ‘Dutch’ Lichtenstein, 34, proper, and his spouse, Heather Rhiannon Morgan, 31, was set at $5million and $3million respectively after their arrest on Tuesday however they haven’t been launched
A bag labeled ‘burner telephones’ is proven in court docket paperwork. Prosecutors allege the couple had dozens of gadgets
A few of the telephones discovered at Morgan and Lichenstein’s Wall Avenue house
A lawyer for the self-proclaimed ‘Crocodile of Wall Avenue’ rapper, Heather Morgan, 31, and her husband Ilya ‘ Dutch ‘ Lichtenstein, 34, proper, has urged a decide to permit them to be freed on bail
On this courtroom sketch, lawyer Sam Enzer, heart, sits between Heather Morgan, left, and her husband, Ilya ‘Dutch’ Lichtenstein, in federal court docket, on Tuesday
As federal investigators raided their Wall Avenue residence final month, Morgan requested to be allowed to retrieve her cat from beneath the mattress.
However as she was crouching down and pretending to get the pet, brokers noticed that she was frantically making an attempt to lock her telephone, prompting them to wrestle her to the bottom, prosecutors say.
The January 5 raid noticed the officers discover $40,000 in money, dozens of digital gadgets, and two hollowed-out books.
Within the 34-page court docket doc, obtained by Forbes – for whom Morgan typically wrote articles – prosecutors described how the pair went to Ukraine in 2019 to additional their monetary schemes.
Prosecutors say that it was throughout this time that Chicago-born Lichtenstein, who has twin U.S. and Russian nationality, ‘created and/or modified quite a few information’ on this account ‘that contained notes about cash laundering and/or false identification documentation with Ukrainian connections.’
Hollowed-out books have been discovered within the couple’s residence, prosecutors mentioned
Lichenstein stored paperwork detailing pretend passports and scams
Prosecutors displayed photographs exhibiting luggage full of money discovered inside their house
It seems that throughout this era, they acquired packages from Russia to Ukraine, seemingly from darknet distributors promoting pretend passports.
The supply tackle was given because the 11 Mirrors Design Lodge in Kiev, which is identical resort that Morgan posted photographs of on her social media platforms, and from the place Uber receipts confirmed she traveled.
One other doc contained inside Lichtenstein’s cloud storage account, prosecutors say, features a Russian-language doc that describes ‘ anonymously obtain a parcel in Ukraine.’
The doc supplies particulars of video digital camera positioning in Ukrainian put up workplaces and keep away from being seen.
Morgan was arrested on Tuesday in Manhattan, collectively along with her husband, on federal prices of conspiracy to commit cash laundering and conspiracy to defraud america
Morgan, 31, who calls herself the ‘Crocodile of Wall Avenue’ (therefore the croc pictured in her hand) additionally spends time creating low-budget rap movies and posing for quirky photoshoots
In court docket on Friday, the couple’s lawyer, Samson Enzer, urged a decide to permit them to be freed on $3 million and $4.5 million bail respectively, saying the actual fact neither of them fled when given the prospect upon first being alerted to the investigation, proves they might not run from the legislation if now freed on bail.
Prosecutors are urging warning: It’s believed the couple nonetheless have huge sums of cash at their disposal which is probably going hidden from authorities.
Moreover, Lichtenstein has twin citizenship with Russia giving the couple a attainable protected haven from which it might be notably troublesome for U.S. authorities to safe an extradition order ought to the couple select to flee.
If convicted, they withstand a most of 25 years in jail.