Bitfinex Bitcoin laundering - Heather Morgan, Ilya Lichtenstein

The Greatest BTC Crime In History: What A New Netflix Documentary Will Be About?

By StealthEX | StealthEX Blog | 16 Feb 2022


Filming awkward TikTok videos and stealing billions of dollars at the same time. Can one person combine such diverse things? This unique story proves that everything is possible, especially if this person has a partner in crime. 

Heather Morgan, with her husband Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein, stole approximately 120 thousand Bitcoins, but their crime had been uncovered recently. Inspired by this story, Netflix decided to film a documentary series on it. Read more about this bold financial fraud in the new StealthEX article.

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How This All Happened?

Criminals were caught in February 2022, but the story itself started in 2016. They are accused of laundering  119,754 Bitcoins from Bitfinex, one of the most trusted cryptocurrency exchanges. According to the recent rates, this sum is equivalent to over $5 billion.

For committing this crime, the couple conducted over 2 thousand transactions to the wallets owned by Ilya Lichtenstein. After that, 25 thousand Bitcoins were transferred out of it. The couple exchanged half of this sum for fiat, bought 70 pieces of gold, a $500 Walmart gift card, and made several purchases on PlayStation and Uber. Moreover, investigators found out that they'd also opened financial accounts in Russia and Ukraine for money laundering. To avoid problems with the law, Morgan claimed the stolen money as income from shell companies.  

Fortunately, the remaining sum was still in the wallet, which Lichtenstein was using initially, and experts managed to enter this account and recovered over 94 thousand Bitcoins.

Now, this criminal couple is charged with conspiracy for committing money laundering and defrauding the U.S. This means that their overall sentence can reach 25 years in prison. 

What Do We Know About Ilya Lichtenstein?

Ilya "Dutch" Lichtenstein is an American born in Russia in 1987. However, today few things bound him to his motherland, as his family moved to the U.S. when he was 6.

Growing up, he was showing himself as an entrepreneur and leader. In 2011, Lichtenstein became a co-founder of MixRank, a company that analyzes Ad campaign effectiveness. At the same time, he started working as a business consultant for projects, like SalesFolk and 500 Startups.

After the crime, in 2018, he moved to New York City, kept consulting businesses, such as Endpass and Demand Path, and started investing. 

A Versatile Life Of An Aspired Creator 

Working in the industry, Ilya Lichtenstein definitely has expertise in what he's doing. However, would he commit such an elaborate crime without his muse? Heather Rhiannon Morgan met Lichtenstein in 2014 while he was consulting her company, SalesFolk.

A 31-year-old woman is a multi-faceted person, as she is both a journalist, economist, blogger, and a street rapper under the pseudonym Razzlkhan. However, her most unusual hobby is filming TikTok videos. Having quite a unique performance style, which is often called a "sexy horror comedy", she adds lots of dark jokes to her content. Morgan gets inspiration for her music from Die Antwoord, Mickey Avalon, and even Salvador Dali.

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In fact, her content is more stupid than smart and unique. In most of her videos, Heather acts like a kid, not knowing how to cope with her emotions and show them as an adult. Some even suppose that a person with such behavior would never commit such a superior crime. 

Who Will Direct The Series?

Since the project has just started, Netflix has revealed only a few people working on it. Chris Smith who directed "FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened" will direct the series, and Nick Bilton, known for "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley" and "Fake Famous", is set to executive produce it.


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