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.
The court documents detail the entire money laundering process that was uncovered after the closure of the AlphaBay darknet marketplace.
Of the 119,754 bitcoins, 95,000 BTC – about $3.6 billion – were not withdrawn and remained in the pair's wallet.Agents were able to access it and confiscate the amount.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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