US Justice Dept Seized $3.6 Billion in Bitcoin in Largest Financial Seizure Ever

The US Justice Department announced it has seized over $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency at today’s prices in what has been touted as the single largest financial seizure ever. They seized bout 94,000 of the 119,754 Bitcoin they alleged as stolen. It would be worth about $4.1B at today’s prices. The DoJ arrested Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife Heather Morgan. 31, with conspiring to launder cryptocurrency that was stolen during the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.

The couple will make an initial court appearance this afternoon to respond to the accusation of conspiring to launder the proceeds of 119,754 bitcoin.

The indictment said that over the last five years, approximately 25,000 of the stolen bitcoins were transferred out of Lichtenstein’s wallet “via a complicated money laundering process” that ended with some of the money being deposited into accounts held by him and his wife.

Last week, blockchain analytics firm Elliptic revealed that the funds from the hack were on the move, stating that “funds from this hack have been slowly laundered for over five years”.

Around $700 million in Bitcoin was also allegedly moved in April 2021, with Elliptic claiming that the funds were laundered through darknet markets like Hydra and privacy-focused Wasabi wallet.

Bitfinex has said that it will “work with the DOJ” and follow the appropriate legal processes to establish the rights to a return of any stolen Bitcoin.

“We’re pleased that DOJ has recovered a significant portion of the Bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack,” a spokesman said.

The report said special agents obtained access to files within an online account controlled by Lichtenstein that included the private keys. With that, the agents seized the remaining 94,000 coins.

Source: Yahoo

From The TradersCommunity News Desk

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