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U.S. arrests couple for allegedly laundering $4.5 bln in crypto…

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      <br>By Sarah N. Lynch and Raphael Satter<br> <br>WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The FBI arrested a husband and wife on Tuesday morning, alleging they conspired to launder cryptocurrency stolen from the 2016 hack of virtual currency exchange Bitfinex, and said law enforcement has already seized over $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency tied to the hack.<br> <br>The action represents the Justice Department’s largest-ever financial seizure, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said, adding in a statement that it shows cryptocurrency is “not a safe haven for criminals.”<br> <br>Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, darknet market and his wife Heather Morgan, 31, both of Manhattan, dark web markets are scheduled to make their initial appearances in federal court Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.

      in the U.S. District Court for darknet market links the Southern District of New York.<br> <br>The case was filed in a federal court in Washington, D.C.<br> <br>The pair is accused of conspiring to launder 119,754 bitcoin that was stolen, after a hacker attacked Bitfinex and initiated more than 2,0000 unauthorized transactions.<br> <br>Justice Department officials said the transactions at the time were valued at $71 million in Bitcoin, but with the rise in the currency’s value, it is now valued at over $4.5 billion.<br> <br>”As the complaint alleges, the FBI and federal prosecutors were able to trace the movement of Bitcoin from this hack,” said Matthew Graves, the U.S.

      Attorney for the District of Columbia.<br> <br>He added that the money moved through a major darknet market exchange tied to a host of crimes, dark market list as well as cryptocurrency addresses tied to child sexual abuse materials.<br> <br>Tuesday’s criminal complaint came more than four months after Monaco announced the department was launching website a new National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team, which is comprised of a mix of anti-money laundering and cybersecurity experts.<br> <br>Cyber criminals who attack companies, municipalities and individuals with ransomware often demand payment in the form of cryptocurrency.<br> <br>In one high-profile example last year, dark web link former partners and associates of the ransomware group REvil website caused a widespread gas shortage on the U.S.

      East Coast when it used encryption software called DarkSide to launch a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline.<br> <br>The Justice Department was later recovered website some $2.3 million in cryptocurrency ransom that Colonial paid to the hackers.<br> <br>(Reporting by Sarah N.
      Lynch and Raphael Satter; Editing by Richard Chang)<br>

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