Amateur rapper and her husband plead guilty after trying to launder stolen Bitcoin worth billions | Science & Tech News
An amateur rapper and her husband have pleaded guilty to attempting to launder stolen Bitcoin.
Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein went to desperate lengths in their attempts to convert billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency into cash.
At the time of their arrest in 2022, the stash of 120,000 Bitcoin was worth $4.5bn (£3.5bn).
The US Department of Justice managed to recover $3.6bn (£2.8bn) of this, in what was the biggest financial seizure in its history.
While the couple were only accused of laundering this cryptocurrency rather than stealing it, Lichtenstein has now admitted that he was the person who hacked the Bitfinex exchange in 2016.
The 35-year-old then enlisted his wife in an elaborate scheme that involved burying gold coins and burning documents in a bin in Kazakhstan.
Prosecutors had accused the pair of creating fake identities to set up online trading accounts so they could launder the Bitcoin.
Detectives found folders on Lichtenstein’s computer named “personas” – and a plastic bag labelled “burner phones” was also discovered under their bed.
They also used their ill-gotten gains to buy non-fungible tokens, and Walmart gift cards.
Heather Morgan called herself as “Razzlekhan” in her rap videos, and claimed she was the “Crocodile of Wall Street”.
In the past, she had also worked as a public speaker, and held an event in New York called “How to Social Engineer Your Way Into Anything”.
Her tips for crashing an event included wearing black T-shirts to look like security, and wearing as many layers as possible so outfits could change at short notice.
The husband and wife had entered into a plea deal late last month, and a date for their sentencing has not been set.
At the time of their arrest, officials said they could face up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.