Crocodile of Wall Street? Hipsters Busted for Laundering Billions Through Crypto
Multi-billion dollar, hipster, crypto, money launderers with a pattern of cringe behind them? More likely than you might think. Heather R. Morgan and Dutch Ilya Lichtenstein have just been indicted over laundering over $4.5 billion in stolen cryptocurrency. In a TikTok Morgan explains how she grew her company into a multimillion dollar business in her early 20s. Apparently all she had backing her was hard work and a willingness to break the law, a recipe for success no doubt. She brags about "zero outside funding" and "no connections."
Like so many entrepreneurial gurus, she works on pushing "entrepreneurial process" while pushing certain technologies as well. Heather's LinkedIn opens with a quote, by the famous... oh no wait, it's just Heather Morgan quoting herself: "With words and software you can write your own destiny."
Oh and did I mention she's also a rapper? Razzlekhan bein her rapper name. No seriously, it's even listed on her LinkedIn. Here is a really weak parody of an Eminem song about "software as a service" (SaaS). I mean honestly, since about 2003 Eminem has been a parody of himself, why would anyone else bother to try to top that?
This may be a little harsh, but as much as I stand for freedom of speech and free expression, I almost find the creation of some of these TikToks and "rap songs" as or more offensive than laundering billions of dollars in stolen crypto coins.
The enterprising and allegedly felonious couple, Ilya, 34 and Heather, 31, were arrested Tuesday on conspiracy to commit money laundering charges as well as conspiracy to defraud the United States. Lichtenstein, Morgan's husband, is a dual citizen of Russia and the US and co-founded a marketing firm. The couple live directly on Wall Street in Manhattan.
Seriously though, rapping about entrepreneurialism and software seems to be far more harmful to the world at large than the financial crimes. Think I'm exaggerating? Judge for yourself, but don't say I warned you.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice:
"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 once again showed how it can and will follow the money, no matter the form it takes."