The pair was accused of plotting to launder Btc stolen from Bitfinex, a Hong Kong-based crypto currency exchange, in 2016.
The Department of Justice recovered $3.6 billion in looted bitcoin from the 2016 theft of bitcoin exchange Bitfinex. On Tuesday, a couple was detained and charged with money laundering in relation to the $4.5 billion theft. Approximately 120,000 BTC were robbed from the exchange in 2016, accounting for a significant portion of the entire circulating quantity at the time. The tokens were valued roughly $60 million at the time, but are now worth upwards of $4.5 billion at current values.
The stolen cryptocurrency was transferred to their account via “unauthorised transactions,” with 25,000 BTC transferred out over the last five years. The destiny of the remaining $900 million tokens is still unclear. The DOJ said that the pair plotting to launder the tokens did not clearly state that they were also the masterminds behind the attack.
In a statement, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said this was “the department’s greatest cash seizure ever.” The DOJ also stated that the looted money started to migrate out of the hacker’s wallets into those held by the couple, they were traced on the BTC blockchain.
According to the statement, the suspect created thousands of wallets to carry out the theft processes. They used a variety of techniques to do so. It includes dividing transactions into “huge numbers” of smaller transactions, utilising darknet markets, and transforming them into further private tokens like Monero.
Bitfinex has indicated that they would cooperate with the DOJ to recover the cash, which will compensate for the recovery within 18 months of the date.