FEDS Seizes Stolen Bitcoin Worth $3.6 Billion In Record Haul, Couple Arrested.

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) stated on Wednesday that the US Government has discovered $3.6 billion in stolen Bitcoin. This is the aftermath of one of the greatest cryptocurrency hacks in history, which occurred after a breach of the virtual currency exchange Bitfinex, with the perpetrators allegedly fleeing with more than $100 million in Bitcoin. 

The couple at the core of this illegal operation, Ilya Dutch Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan have now been detained on suspicion of money laundering and other connected offenses. The US District Court judge recently unsealed an indictment against the husband and wife team who were charged with a number of counts including operating as a money services business without a license, international transmission of funds taken by fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. 

NFTs bought with the stolen bitcoin
According to Reuters, an international news organization, after transferring Bitcoins to their crypto wallet, the pair spent the earnings on gold, NFTs, and a $500 Walmart gift card. The accused reportedly utilized a variety of methods to launder the stolen Bitcoin, including dividing transactions into “thousands” of smaller transactions, changing them into other forms of crypto such as monero, and then selling them on the darknet market. According to the US DOJ, one such site allegedly utilized by the pair was AlphaBay. According to the complaint, part of the cash was transferred to an account linked to a firm named SalesFolk, which Morgan owned.

Despite the strong showing of federal agents’ efforts, Bitcoin still remains largely unregulated in terms of its use as a means of exchange or payment – something that could change as blockchain transactions gain more popularity and enter into mainstream consciousness.