Heather Morgan, Forbes contributor and rapper, and her husband Ilya Lichtenstein were arrested on Tuesday in Manhattan. The couple had in their possession roughly $3.6 billion in Bitcoin, which was hacked from Hong Kong exchange Bitfinex in 2016. The Justice Department reports that this seizure of crypto is its largest financial seizure to date. The charges going against the couple are conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to defraud the US. It is still unclear if they were the ones who orchestrated the hack.
The couple allegedly laundered the money through a series of crypto wallets and transactions, and up until recently did a good job of it, they did manage to stay under the radar for 6 years. Lichtenstein eventually made a fatal error. He uploaded a list of wallets the couple attempted to launder money through, along with the keys to access them, to a cloud and email server. Authorities obtained a search warrant and decrypted the files, obtaining the evidence needed to issue an arrest. However, there’s more to this story than that. Heather Morgan is quite the character.
As it says in her Forbes bio, when Heather Morgan is “not reverse-engineering black markets to think of better ways to combat fraud and cybercrime, she enjoys rapping and designing streetwear fashion.” Fashion designer, rapper, journalist, and billion dollar money launderer is one crazy resume. Up until a few days ago, she was technically a billionaire, so you’d hope that her music would at least be good. Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of the truth.
I have heard more than my fair share of garbage music. I’m an active SoundCloud user, so I’ve listened to those rappers with 500 streams that recorded their music with a ten-dollar microphone in their parents basement. With confidence, I can say that Heather Morgan ‘Razzlekhan’ has created the worst music I’ve ever heard, which you can listen to at the bottom of this article if you dare.
Social media has been quick to react to this story, and with good reason, there’s so much to make fun of. Like how on her website, she says she gets influence from the great works of Salvador Dali and Roald Dahl, among others. Ah yes of course, Salvador Dali loved laundering billions in digital assets.
I hope that everyone who lost their Bitcoin in the 2016 hack has it returned to them. These arrests show that the government CAN follow cryptocurrency on the blockchain, but it is often difficult. It took them six years to catch Morgan and Lichtenstein, and they were living in the United States. They were inevitably caught by law enforcement due to an error on Lichtenstein’s part, but every criminal ends up making a mistake at some point. The couple faces up to 25 years in prison, which they deserve. Morgan was laundering billions of dollars and making the worst sounds in the history of music. I’ll feel much safer with her behind bars, where no one will ever be able to hear her bars ever again.