The cryptocurrency world is a strange and alien one, even to those who use it (and perhaps to the celebrities who endorse it as well). Late last year, a freak glitch caused some users to briefly believe they were trillionaires. (They were not.) Some seem to think that because it’s an unregulated Wild West, they can scam to their heart’s delight. But the feds are fast learners, as a hipster couple recently found out.
A new report from The Daily Beast tells the bizarre tale of Heather Morgan and Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, New York marrieds who were arrested on Tuesday, charged with laundering around $4.5 billion from a massive crypto exchange breach dating from 2016.
The pair are accused of “helping to ‘wash’ 119,754 Bitcoin pilfered from Bitfinex and allegedly transferred into a digital wallet controlled by Lichtenstein, a dual citizen of both the U.S. and Russia, prosecutors announced.” The scheme involved deceiving multiple financial service firms. They then allegedly laundered the stolen funds though a dense maze of cryptocurrency transactions involving fictitious identities, in a desperate attempt to obscure their digital footprints.
It’s an incredibly complex swindle that took an army of FBI investigators to trace. It’s also a reminder, as the District Attorney prosecuting them said in a statement, that cryptocurrency is “not a safe haven for criminals.”
Morgan and Lichtenstein reportedly spent their millions on gold, NFTs, and “mundane things such as purchasing a Walmart gift card for $500.”
The byzantine nature of the couple’salleged crimes are matched by the flamboyancy of their personal lives. Morgan is a tech entrepreneur who founded SalesFolk, billed as “the first company to specialize in cold email copywriting.” She also moonlights as a rapper, with the stage name of Razzlekhan, sometimes shortened to “Razz.” One of her songs is called “High in the Cemetery,” and the lyrics go like this:
“Getting high in the cemetery next to grandpa’s grave
F*ck the park; it’s full of f*ck boy sex slaves
I’m about to light it up
When a big ass horse pulls up
In a dark chocolate ‘67 Porsche
[man’s voice] ‘How much for a hand job?’
Yo, I’m not some kind of slutty basic ho
About to jack off a horse for a ride in yo Porsche”
You can listen to it below:
Morgan has also been a contributor to Inc. and Forbes. For the latter, she wrote about how burnt-out execs can blow off steam by rapping, like her.
As for her husband’s employment history:
In his LinkedIn bio, Lichtenstein claims to have been the co-founder and CEO of a San Francisco sales and marketing company called MixRank. However, MixRank’s website makes no mention of him. The company did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.
Should they be convicted of their crimes, Morgan and Lichtenstein face a possible 25 years in prison.
(Via The Daily Beast)