In the most significant criminal crypto crime case in history, Netflix plans to release a documentary series about a married couple’s alleged attempt to launder billions of dollars in stolen bitcoin.
On Tuesday, February 8, Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan were detained in their New York City residence on allegations of conspiring to launder about 120,000 Bitcoin linked to a 2016 breach of a crypto exchange bitfinex. The pair was accused of attempting to liquidate their digital assets by creating false identities and online accounts and purchasing real gold, NFTs, and other assets. The value of the stolen Bitcoin at the time of the hack was $71 million. The current value of the loot is worth nearly $5 billion. At the same time, investigators raced to track the money’s movement on the blockchain.
Chris Smith (FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Tiger King) will direct and executive produce alongside Nick Bilton (Fake Famous, The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, American Kingpin: The Epic Hunt for the Criminal Mastermind Behind the Silk Road).
Netflix’s history with crypto
The latest announcement is the firm’s newest move into the crypto-crime world. Last year, Netflix announced the release of “Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King,” a film about the QuadrigaCX exchange, whose founder Gerald Cotten died unexpectedly while possessing the keys to customers’ accounts, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
On Tuesday, Lichtenstein and Morgan were detained in New York and charged with fraud and money laundering for allegedly attempting to launder 120,000 bitcoins from bitfinex. On the day of their arrest, the two appeared in federal court and face a new bail hearing on Monday.
The husband-and-wife team is currently awaiting trial, but they have been denied bail because the prosecutor believes they will abscond. According to Bloomberg, Lichtenstein kept a “personas” folder and a “Passport ideas” file on his computer containing links to counterfeit passports. According to the prosecutor, a plastic bag marked “burner phones” was discovered beneath their bed.
There is no point in question that this documentary series will break the bars.