15 Feb Heather Morgan, One of the Defendants in The $3.6B Bitfinex Bitcoin Case, Released Pending Trial
By reasoning that Ilya Lichtenstein is a flight risk, a US Federal Judge ordered him to be detained pretrial while indicating that his wife and partner-in-crime – Heather Morgan – met the criteria for supervised release.
As reported by The New York Times, Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Heather Morgan in terms of supervised release.
The Judge argued that Morgan’s role in attempting to launder the stolen bitcoins from Bitfinex was significantly outweighed by her husband’s involvement. She was released on a $3 million bond, and she posted her parents’ home as collateral.
In contrast, Lichtenstein was detained ahead of the trial as the Judge considered him a flight risk since he had the motivation to flee and could still have the resources to do so.
The duo’s lawyer claimed that they had no intentions to flee, citing family ties in the US. Additionally, the lawyer said the husband and wife had embryos frozen in New York planning to conceive a child, which also suggested that they intend to stay in the country.
Lichtenstein and Morgan were recently arrested for conspiring to launder most of the 119,754 bitcoins stolen in the infamous Bitfinex hack in 2016.
With BTC’s price appreciation within the past six years, the amount swiped is in the billions in terms of USD now, making it the DOJ’s largest financial seizure ever.
While the US authorities, Bitfinex, and the exchange’s affected users are yet to determine what will happen to the recovered bitcoins, Netflix jumped on board, wanting to release a documentary on what transpired.
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