The FBI seizes $3.6 billion in Bitcoin stolen from Bitfinex in 2016

The United States seized approximately $3.6 billion in Bitcoin stolen during a 2016 hack of the Bitfinex currency exchange, the largest financial seizure ever, and arrested two people, according to the Justice Department.

Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, were arrested Tuesday morning and are scheduled to appear in federal court in Manhattan in the afternoon, according to a statement from the Justice Department. The two allegedly planned to launder 119,754 Bitcoin that had been stolen after a hacker breached Bitfinex’s systems.

“Today’s arrests, as well as the Department’s largest financial seizure ever, demonstrate that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco in a statement. “The defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions in a futile attempt to maintain digital anonymity.”

Bitfinex is the exchange associated with Tether, the world’s largest stablecoin. According to the Justice Department, the digital currency haul was estimated to be worth $71 million at the time of the hack. According to the department, the total value of stolen Bitcoin is now around $4.5 billion.

 

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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