Judge grants bail to crypto couple in US$4.5bil hack

Attorney Sam Enzer (C) sits between Heather Morgan (L) and her husband, Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein (R) in federal court facing accusations of conspiring to launder billions in cryptocurrency. — AP Photo

A New York judge granted bail for two people charged with trying to launder billions of dollars worth of Bitcoin stolen in a 2016 hack of the Bitfinex currency exchange.

Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan appeared in a lower Manhattan federal courtroom Tuesday after being arrested at 7am in New York. The US government said it seized about $3.6bil (RM15.07bil) worth of cryptocurrency from the married couple, the largest financial seizure ever.

The two allegedly conspired to launder 119,754 Bitcoin, currently valued at about US$4.5bil (RM18.83bil), stolen after a hacker breached Bitfinex’s systems.

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