Heather Morgan describes herself as a self-professed “Serial Entrepreneur.” She also dabbles in amateur rap. Her husband, Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, calls himself a “Technology entrepreneur, coder, and investor.” Unfortunately, he’s a rather sloppy cryptocurrency thief, and because of that, the couple could be spending time away from each other in prison.
They were arrested in NYC Tuesday for trying to launder $4.5 billion in crypto that they alleged stole during a 2016 hack. The feds claim the bitcoin was taken from the virtual currency exchange Bitfinex. Hackers exploited a security flaw and made over 2,000 unauthorized transactions, with the crypto then being funneled into a wallet Lichtenstein controlled.
Prosecutors said the couple spent the past five years moving the funds around through complicated money laundering techniques, using fake identities and shuffling the money through the darknet, but ultimately it ended up in an account that was easy to trace.
Allegedly, the couple used some of the proceeds from the stolen bitcoin to buy NFT’s, gold, and yes, a $500 gift card from Walmart.
While Lichtenstein was allegedly very sophisticated with some of his devious actions, he also made some boneheaded decisions. For instance, the Feds say the couple had a bag labeled “burner phones.” It was filled with cell phones.
Lichtenstein also had a file on his computer labeled “passport_ideas.”
Here’s part of the announcement from Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.
“Today’s arrests, and the department’s largest financial seizure ever, show that cryptocurrency is not a safe haven for criminals.”
When the couple allegedly stole the bitcoin, it was valued at $71 million, illustrating how the value has exploded in six years.
A YouTube channel featured some of Morgan’s rapping that she did under the name “Razzlekhan.” She refers to herself as the “crocodile of Wall Street.”
Morgan also used to be a contributor to Forbes Magazine.