New York Couple Busted as Part of Billion Dollar Bitcoin Scheme
Cryptocurrency seems to be all the rage these days, but with more emphasis on the platform, more people are going to try to take advantage of the system. That was the case recently, as federal prosecutors busted a New York couple with an alleged conspiracy to launder billions of dollars of cryptocurrency that was stolen years ago. NBC says the duo faces charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which could land them in jail for up to 20 years.
Stereogum reports that the woman involved is a self-proclaimed “irreverent comedic rapper” who goes by the name Razzlekhan. Hey, the more you know.
The couple's alleged $4.5 billion scheme has to do with the money that was stolen during the August 2016 hack of Bitfinex. The Department of Justice says the couple was arrested Tuesday. ABC says the two are alleged to have conspired to launder the stolen bitcoin from Bitfinex's platform after its systems were hacked. The DOJ claims the couple had "employed numerous sophisticated laundering techniques". Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said the arrests marked the DOJ's largest financial seizure ever.
Bitcoin is a controversial digital currency that can be sent from user to user through a network, without the need for a bank or mediator. The value is guaranteed by the network of users, though the actual value of the coins that are mined can be very volatile. Mining for cryptocurrency can also be a very expensive process. You may remember this story from 2021? A 42-year-old IT supervisor in the state of New York was accused of costing the local government thousand of dollars in bills in a cryptocurrency scheme.
According to KIRO, the man from Mattituck hid multiple devices in six different rooms at the Suffolk County Center. Prosecutors say some of these devices had been running since February, which would end up costing the county at least $6,000 in electricity bills. The Suffolk County District Attorney went on to say that the suspect utilized unused electrical wall panels and even used the underneath of floorboards.
The New York Times says the process takes an enormous amount of electricity to power the various devices to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.