Amazon to Make a Movie on How Husband and Wife Stole $4 billion
Amazon MGM is to produce a movie that will tell the story of a 120,000 BTC hack of the Bitfinex exchange.
The movie, called Razzlekhan (after Heather Morgan's rap pseudonym), will be based on a New York Times article from 2022 about the couple Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, who hacked the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016. It will be directed and written by Hannah Marks and produced by "Riverdale" series star Lili Reinhart.
In August 2023, Liechtenstein pleaded guilty to hacking the exchange in 2016. Both also pleaded guilty to stealing, conspiring and laundering about 120,000 Bitcoins. As part of the deal, they agreed to return all the stolen funds. The U.S. Justice Department forfeited about $3.6 billion, the largest amount of money forfeited in U.S. history.
US authorities only managed to catch the couple in 2022. They said the couple used sophisticated money laundering techniques, including forging identities to automate transactions and deposit them on cryptocurrency exchanges. Lichtenstein stated that he used a number of advanced tools to hack into Bitfinex, fraudulently conducted 2,000 transactions and embezzled around 120,000 Bitcoins. He then erased all credentials and other files on the network in an attempt to cover his tracks. However, authorities later managed to gain access to the Liechtenstein cloud where the schemes and addresses he used were stored. Ilya hired Morgan for the further purpose of money laundering. Heather, meanwhile, was an aspiring rap singer, as well as writing articles for Forbes and working in cybersecurity.
At the time of the theft, the value of Bitcoins was estimated at $71 million, but over time that value increased to $4.5 billion. Authorities managed to seize 94,000 BTC over seven years. These funds were distributed to the victims. However, due to the price exchange rate, not all users were able to get their funds back. The crypto couple faces up to 20 years in prison.
The details of the feature movie from Amazon are unknown, but a documentary about the case from Netflix is being prepared for release.