Justice Department seize $3.6bn in crypto from Bitfinex hack

The US Justice Department has seized $3.6 billion in Bitcoin connected to the 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex

The United States Department of Justice has seized $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency tied to the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.

Two people have been arrested by the Justice Department for allegedly conspiring to launder cryptocurrency that was stolen in the hack.

The suspects, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, will appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.

Special agents reportedly obtained access to files within an online account controlled by Lichtenstein, those files contained the private keys.

It has been dubbed as the Justice Deparment’s largest financial seizure involving cryptocurrency of all-time.

A total of 119,754 Bitcoin were taken from Bitfinex during the hack, some of which was returned to customers by Bitfinex in 2019, as reported at the time by Coin Rivet.

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.

In a statement issued this evening, the cryptocurrency exchange hailed the investigation as a huge success.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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