US Customs and Border Protection took the money. Recovery efforts are proceeding for the remaining cash.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, delivered $312,219.71 in cash and 6.917 Bitcoin Cash to cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex on July 6th. The money was taken as part of Bitfinex’s ongoing efforts to retrieve items that were stolen from the exchange in an August 2016 security breach.
Bitfinex’s cooperation with law enforcement and investigation authorities led to the recovery of these assets. The prosecution of those responsible for the Bitfinex security breach and the seizure of funds linked to the theft have both advanced.
The 2016 Bitfinex hack victims will receive a prorated share of the confiscated assets. Bitfinex released Recovery Rights Tokens with a $1 par value after the security attack. There are 30 million RRTs in use right now. Any residual cash will be handed to owners of Unus Sed Leo, Bitfinex’s native token, after the seized assets are utilized to redeem RRTs.
A security lapse at Bitfinex in 2016 led to the theft of 119,576 users’ Bitcoin, which was then worth about $70 million and is now worth almost $3.7 billion. On February 8th, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice arrested two individuals, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife, Heather Morgan, for their alleged involvement in conspiring to launder crypto connected to the hack.
After obtaining a search order that gave them access to files containing the private keys to the suspects’ wallets, special agents were able to confiscate almost 94,000 stolen BTC from Morgan and Lichtenstein. Recovery operations for the remaining monies, however, are still ongoing, suggesting that further Bitfinex hack-related assets have not yet been located.
For those affected by the Bitfinex breach, the most recent asset seizure and subsequent return by the US authorities represents progress. It emphasizes Bitfinex’s dedication to collaborating with law authorities to deal with the fallout from the security breach and underlines the ongoing efforts to hold individuals responsible for their conduct accountable.