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    US Authorities Seize Funds Stolen From Bitfinex

    US Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoins stolen form Bitfinex

    The US Department of Justice seized $3.6 billion worth of Bitcoins stolen in the fall of 2016 from the global cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and arrested two US citizens accused of stealing them.

    The authorities were able to seize over 94 thousand Bitcoins from the stolen 119.8 thousand. The total amount of stolen digital assets are now estimated at $4.5 billion, writes CNBC. The Ministry of Justice called the seized amount a record in history.

    Five and a half years ago, the damage from the theft of Bitcoins was $65 million, the rate of the cryptocurrency then fluctuated around $500. On Tuesday evening, Bitcoin was trading at $42,891.

    Law enforcement agencies also arrested two people – Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan. They are charged with conspiracy to launder funds, the maximum penalty under this article is 20 years in prison. They were also accused of conspiracy to deceive the US authorities, for which they can receive another five years in prison.

    Prosecutors told the press that the arrested couple spent the stolen funds on Walmart gift cards, NFTs and gold.

    According to media reports, the court allowed Lichtenstein and Morgan to leave prison on bail. At the same time, the authorities initially asked the court not to do this, since both face 20 years in prison and they have a motivation to hide. In total, the bail amounted to eight million dollars: five million for Liechtenstein and three for his wife. Also, the defendants must remain at their home in New York and wear electronic bracelets.

    Earlier, in 2020, representatives of the exchange informed the public that they had failed to get on the trail of hackers and promised a reward for helping to catch the criminals.

    On February 1, Bitcoins that unknown attackers stole from the Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange in 2016 were moved to a particular address.

    Chainalysis estimated that hackers stole $14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies last year.