Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, the self-claimed infamous “Crocodile of Wall Street” couple, were charged with trying to launder funds taken in a massive hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016.
According to the latest development, though, the two are still negotiating a possible plea deal.
- Lichtenstein and Morgan were due to appear in a federal court in Washington on 3rd June.
- However, the federal prosecutors have asked the court to postpone the hearing until 2nd August.
- They said that they needed more time to sort through the “voluminous financial records” and to pursue a plea deal with the couple.
- The law enforcement authorities had reportedly seized $3.6 billion of those funds. The US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monacodeemed the confiscation as “the department’s largest financial seizure ever.”
- The DOJ didn’t charge the couple with carrying out the hack themselves, just with laundering the proceeds and initiating over 2,000 unauthorized transactions.
- The federal executive department had said that the stolen crypto was worth only $72 million. But at the time of the arrest, the value had climbed to $4.5 billion.
- In a statement, Bitfinex confirmed working with the DOJ in its investigation and said that it was pleased the authorities managed to recover “a significant portion of the Bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack.”