The plot centers around Morgan and Lichtenstein, the masterminds behind the 2016 hack of Bitfinex, which led to their arrest in February 2022.
In a surprising turn of events, Amazon MGM Studio is set to bring the infamous $4 billion Bitfinex Bitcoin (BTC) heist to the big screen.
The untitled film, currently in development, will delve into the lives and criminal activities of convicted crypto thieves Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan and Ilya Lichtenstein. Inspired by a 2022 New York Times article, the production will be directed by Hannah Marks and co-produced by Lili Reinhart.
DOJ Arrests Crypto Bonnie and Clyde
According to reports, the plot centers around Morgan and Lichtenstein, the masterminds behind the 2016 hack of the crypto exchange Bitfinex, which led to their arrest in February 2022.
At the time, the United States Department of Justice charged the duo with conspiracy in connection to the staggering $4 billion theft and subsequent money laundering operation. The public defender’s office confiscated 95,000 BTC worth approximately $3.6 million in crypto from the operations during the arrest. The fund represented the highest seizure involving crypto assets for DOJ in 2022.
In August 2023, the couple pleaded guilty to the crimes. Morgan, known by her alias “Razzlekhan”, with a background as a rapper and cybersecurity professional, admitted to stealing a substantial 120,900 bitcoins from the heist in court.
Lichtenstein also confessed to being the original hacker responsible for the 2016 cyberattack on the Bitfinex exchange. He also admitted to using sophisticated tools to exploit the exchange and gain access to the crypto assets.
According to the DOJ announcement, Lichtenstein pleaded guilty to money laundering charges in a federal court in Washington. His wife, Morgan, also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States government.
Despite agreeing to surrender their ill-gotten gains, the crypto Bonnie and Clyde could face up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted.
Commitment to Pursuing Financial Crimes
Amazon is poised to translate this captivating story to the screens. However, the company has not disclosed additional details about the film’s production or release dates. The film promises to offer a gripping narrative, shedding light on the intricate details of the cyber heist and the subsequent attempts to launder the stolen funds through a complex web of cryptocurrency transactions.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco emphasized the role of law enforcement in meticulously tracing the money, showcasing the department’s unwavering commitment to pursuing financial crimes.
“In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity, the defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions. Thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department has once again shown how it can and will follow the money, no matter what form it takes,” said Monaco.
While details about the production remain scarce, the involvement of the New York Times through its partner, Anonymous Content, adds a layer of authenticity to the project. The newspaper’s contribution ensures that the film draws from accurate and reliable sources, comprehensively portraying the events surrounding the Bitfinex heist.