US government transfers $922 million worth of BTC after its price rises

The government's transfer of such a large sum came on the same day that Bitcoin surpassed the $60,000 mark for the first time in more than two years.

The US government withdrew $922 million worth of bitcoins from two cryptocurrency wallets that contained funds seized from Bitfinex in 2016.
On the exact same day that the US government made the transactions, Bitcoin surpassed the $60,000 mark for the first time in over two years. In the 24 hours to 09:45 PM UTC, its price rose 5.52% to $62,507. The value of the world's first cryptocurrency has increased by more than 20% over the past week.

BTC price for the last 12 months. Source: Coinmarketcap

The first test transaction, worth just 1 Bitcoin, was completed mid-afternoon on February 28th. Just a few minutes later, an address belonging to the US government made a second transaction worth 2,817 Bitcoin ($172.74 million), according to our colleagues at Arkham Intelligence. The fourth transaction was worth 12,267 bitcoins ($748.46 million).
The transfers came a day after Ilya Lichtenstein, a hacker accused of stealing and laundering more than $4.5 billion in Bitcoin from the Bitfinex exchange, appeared in court in Washington. So he detailed the details of the world's largest Bitcoin robbery.
Lichtenstein told jurors on February 27 that he had access to Bitfinex's systems for several months and also hacked into individual accounts on other exchanges such as Coinbase and Kraken, according to a Bloomberg report.
Where does the money or business come from and Bitfinex hacking
In February 2022, Ilya Likhtenstein and his wife, rapper Heather R. Morgan, also known as Razzlekhan, were arrested. At the time, the US government alleged that they conspired to launder $4.5 billion worth of stolen bitcoins. The largest financial seizure in history resulted in the confiscation of $3.6 billion. Then, on August 3, 2022, the US government continued the confiscation, seizing $475 million worth of more Bitcoin.

In August 2023, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy in connection with the Bitfinex hack. It's interesting to note that Amazon has already begun work on a film telling the story of this scammer couple. The project's script will be inspired by a 2022 New York Times article that called Lichtenstein and his wife "Bitcoin's Bonnie and Clyde."

What the AI thinks the characters in the Amazon film about hacking a cryptocurrency exchange should look like.

It’s also interesting how this couple got caught. Of course, the process could not have happened without special services for analyzing the interaction of crypto-currency addresses like our Bholder and blockchain investigation methods. But the criminals themselves are fine - they just relaxed at some point.

To hide their transaction history, Ilya Likhtenstein and Heather Morgan made transfers between accounts, often using highly anonymous cryptocurrencies, including Monero. However, as often happens, they left traces. For example, when registering accounts on one of the cryptocurrency exchanges (VCE1), scammers used similar e-mail addresses belonging to the same provider from India. After the exchange requested additional documents, Ilya and Heather stopped responding to requests, as a result of which 18 accounts with a total deposit of $186 thousand were frozen.

Part of an investigation scheme with a cluster of similar e-mail addresses.

At some point, the attackers believed in their impunity and began to use the “3686mu cluster” to pay for purchases in cryptocurrency. For example, on May 3, 2020, a payment was made through him for a gift card to Walmart for $500. A spoofed IP address was used, but intelligence agencies were able to trace the tenant's name and email to Liechtenstein. The purchase of a new iPhone, delivered to the couple’s home address, was paid for in a similar way. Well, isn't he a genius?!
It is certainly interesting where the US government has withdrawn such funds and how will use it, whether it is connected with the growth of the exchange rate or with the trial of the hacker. We believe that this practice will evolve and become increasingly regulated over time. After all, increases not only the amount of stolen, but also returned cryptocurrency, sometimes the return occurs precisely to law enforcement agencies.

Regarding scammers, we would like to note that they are not always as careless as in this case. But simple steps and a little of your time will save your money and nerves! What to do if you do become a victim of crypto fraud (we hope not) read here

We also remind you that you can check your USDT wallet or check your BTC wallet in our solution Btrace - free AML check for each new user. This way you will further protect yourself from scammers.
Check blockchain address using Btrace
In seconds, determine the risk level of the counterparty’s address, find out the source of his funds and make an informed decision about interacting with him.




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