US authorities returned $314,000 seized after hack to Bitfinex

Bitfinex exchange: everything you need to know
Bitfinex exchange: everything you need to know

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DNS) has returned funds seized in a 2016 platform hack case to Bitfinex. This is stated in the press release.

According to the report, the DNS played an important role in the recovery of stolen assets. We are talking about 6,917 BCH ($1949.9 at the exchange rate at the time of writing) and $312,219.7 in cash.

“In line with Bitfinex’s obligations to token holders, these amounts will be used to redeem the Recovery Right Tokens (RRT) issued by Bitfinex following the 2016 security breach,” the company said.

Representatives of the exchange reminded that 30 million RRT are in circulation. Under the terms, token holders can exchange them at a 1:1 ratio for a dollar of refunded funds.

As a result of a hack in early August 2016, Bitfinex lost almost 120,000 BTC ($71.8 million at the exchange rate at that time, more than $3.6 billion at the current price) and suspended operations for a while.

In May 2020, unknown persons sent 30.667192 BTC from stolen funds to anonymous addresses. Later, 4571 BTC and 473.3183 BTC moved.

In August 2020, Bitfinex announced a $400 million reward for facilitating the return of stolen funds. In October, the attackers moved more than $30 million worth of bitcoins, and in December, a total of 7,045.48 BTC.

On February 1, 2022, 94,643 BTC were in motion. That same month, US authorities detained Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and Heather Morgan, 31, on charges of laundering 119,754 BTC stolen from Bitfinex.

Representatives of the US Department of Justice also announced the largest confiscation of digital assets in the history of the department – 94,636 BTC ($3.6 billion at that time).

Morgan was released on $3 million bail. According to the court, there was no substantial evidence against her other than the allegation that she “allegedly received funds related to the case.”

Recall that in May 2023, journalists found out that Bitfinex was unable to implement “operational, financial and technological controls.” This made it possible to hack it.

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