According to Coindesk, Ilya Lichtenstein and his wife Heather Morgan, accused of stealing 119754 bitcoins in 2016 from the Bitfinex exchange, were planning to flee to Ukraine.
A New York magistrate judge ordered Lichtenstein and Morgan released on bail Tuesday night, but a D.C. judge overturned that decision hours later, citing that the pair had planned to flee the United States.
According to the documents, authorities obtained new evidence that indicated the couple had begun preparations to emigrate to Ukraine.
According to prosecutors, Lichtenstein holds dual U.S. and Russian citizenship and renewed his Russian passport in 2019. In addition, the couple traveled to Ukraine in 2019 for a joint trip. Prosecutors say the couple were preparing escape routes in case of unforeseen circumstances.
According to prosecutors, while the couple was in Ukraine, Lichtenstein allegedly created and updated various files in their online accounts that contained information about money laundering and “fake Ukrainian passports.”
Prosecutors said Lichstein had a folder called “identities” in one of his cloud-based accounts that contained several subfolders with Russian and Ukrainian biographical information, as well as identification documents that had been purchased on the darknet.
Authorities also noted that Lichtenstein ordered several packages from darknet sellers to a hotel near where they were staying during their trip to Ukraine. They also purchased Ukrainian phone numbers and opened several Ukrainian “bank accounts.”
This week, Netflix said it would begin filming a documentary about the history of Lichtenstein and Morgan.