Former President Trump’s arraignment in Washington, DC was overshadowed by the high-profile hearings of a couple dubbed cryptocurrency’s “Bonnie and Clyde.” New York tech entrepreneur Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering conspiracy tied to the 2016 theft of $71 million in bitcoin from Bitfinex exchange.
The stolen cryptocurrency reached a staggering value of over $4.5 billion at the time of their arrest last year. However, the Justice Department managed to seize $3.6 billion, making it the largest fund recovery in its history.
In a surprising turn of events, Lichtenstein confessed to orchestrating the Bitfinex hack, which may spare him from further charges under his plea agreement. Morgan, on the other hand, claimed ignorance of her husband’s involvement until 2020 but admitted to aiding him in laundering the funds.
Morgan, who also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the US, faces a potential jail term of up to five years for each charge. Lichtenstein, being the mastermind behind the hack, could receive a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Among the couple, Morgan had a more prominent public profile. She rapped under the name “Razzlekhan” and wrote for notable publications like Forbes, focusing on combating cybercrime.
Interestingly, the duo only attempted to launder a fraction of the stolen funds, part of which they used to purchase gold coins that they buried in California. This unconventional method of hiding their ill-gotten gains showcases the lengths they were willing to go to evade detection.
While Lichtenstein has been behind bars since his arrest, Morgan has been under house arrest. Unfortunately, due to legal proceedings, the couple has not seen each other in over a year, and their request for a brief meeting between hearings has been denied.
As the hearings of “Bonnie and Clyde” capture public attention, former President Trump’s arraignment takes a backseat. The outcome of these high-profile cases will undoubtedly have lasting implications for the cryptocurrency world and the fight against cybercrime.
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