Contributor: Vanessa Bravo Gomez
February 10, 2022
If you are planning to steal over $4.5 billion in crypto, this is what you need to know.
New York couple Heather Morgan and Ilya “Dutch” Liechtenstein were arrested after being accused of committing a multibillion dollar crypto laundering scheme.
However…Who really is Heather Morgan? According to her LinkedIn profile, she speaks eight languages and describes herself as a “fearless and shameless artist, entrepreneur, and CEO.” Successfully she was also known for publishing business articles for Forbes and Inc. She even gave a marketing talk called “How to Social Engineer Your Way into ANYTHING.” A bit suspicious I would say. Her husband Ilya, on the other hand, was just the backbone of the operation. They described themselves as “serial entrepreneurs,” who focused on tech and crypto. The couple was involved in two projects called Sales Folk and Demand Path, which focused on decentralized projects.
According to the special agents from the IRS, they are a couple who hired a group of hackers to conduct a master plan on the platform Bitfinex in 2016. As years passed, the real struggle for them began: Bitcoin boomed. They originally laundered around 120 bitcoin, which at that moment was worth about $71 million. Nowadays those coins are worth an estimated 4.5 billion dollars. They got caught because they tried to buy NFT art with the stolen cryptocurrency.
Three main marketing takeaways:
Build your personal brand: This is not only how people perceive you, but the legacy you want to leave behind. What are you really trying to promote?
Not everything is as good as it seems: A Forbes writer, a serious CEO, and entrepreneur was able to also be a Tiktoker and rapper called Razzlekhan for the public, when in reality she was a criminal.
Focus on details: If cybercriminal Morgan wrote a Forbes article called, “Expert shared tips to protect your business from cybercriminals,” it is highly recommended to observe and pay attention to individual characteristics in order to avoid surprises later on.
Clark, Mitchell. “What I Learned from the Words and Rhymes of Alleged Bitcoin Launderer Razzlekhan.” The Verge, The Verge, 9 Feb. 2022, https://www.theverge.com/22924237/razzlekhan-bitfinex-hack-laundering-bitcoin-explained-rapper-heather-morgan.
Alpert, Lukas I. “New York Hipster Couple Charged in Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Heist Were 'Serial Entrepreneurs' Who Used Startups to Launder Money, Prosecutors Say.” MarketWatch, MarketWatch, 8 Feb. 2022, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-york-hipster-duo-charged-in-mega-bitcoin-heist-were-serial-entrepreneurs-who-used-startups-to-launder-money-prosecutors-say-11644355781.
“Meet Heather Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein, the Couple Arrested over a $4.5 Billion Crypto Money-Laundering Scheme.” Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo!, https://finance.yahoo.com/m/a8fac7fe-1e60-3877-8fa4-d5379ef9693a/meet-heather-morgan-and-ilya.html.