February 22, 2024

Law enforcement officers identified Bitfinex hackers in 2016

Law enforcement officers identified Bitfinex hackers in 2016

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has confiscated a record $3.6 billion in bitcoin that was stolen in the hackcrypto exchange Bitfinex in 2016.

During the largest cryptocurrency seizure in history, a married couple - Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather - was arrestedAt the time of the hack, the stolen 119,754 BTC was valued at $70 million.At the current exchange rate, the value of the stolen funds has risen to $4.5 billion. 

Law enforcement officers identified Bitfinex hackers in 2016

The court documents detail the entire money laundering process that was uncovered after the closure of the AlphaBay darknet marketplace. 

Law enforcement officers identified Bitfinex hackers in 2016

Of the 119,754 bitcoins, 95,000 BTC – about $3.6 billion – were not withdrawn and remained in the pair's wallet.Agents were able to access it and confiscate the amount.

The duo used various methods to launder the asset:

  • Transaction  automation software
  • transfers to various accounts of exchanges and darknet markets
  • conversion of BTC into anonymous currency 
  • crediting to accounts of fictitious personalities using false documents.

The stolen coins were also passed through mixers and the Hydra darknet marketplace, exchanged for gold, NFTs and gift cards.

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