Woman charged with $4.5 billion cryptocurrency scam released on bail

On February 15, Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia overturned an order issued last week by a New York magistrate that allowed a couple charged with laundering $4.5 billion in stolen bitcoin to bail. Howell had previously ordered an emergency stay of the order after a New York judge said the couple could be released on bail. Beryl Howell ruled on Monday that Heather Morgan, 31, can be released on bail subject to strict conditions, but her husband Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, will remain in custody pending trial. As previously reported, the U.S. has proposed a $100 million fine for couples accused of stealing cryptocurrencies. On February 8, the two were arrested in Manhattan on charges of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to defraud the state. The couple are suspected of laundering $4.5 billion in bitcoin in connection with a 2016 Bitfinex hack. The Justice Department has recovered $3.6 billion. If convicted on both counts, they face up to 25 years in prison. (CoinDesk)

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