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Falling cryptocurrencies (bitcoins, dogecoins, shiba coins, binance coins and other) Credit: Igor Faun/Shutterstock.com

New DOJ Cryptocurrency Case is Feather in Beefed Up Regulatory Cap

The U.S. Department of Justice’s beefed up regulation of cryptocurrency now has a marquee case after Tuesday’s arrest of a couple accused in the $4.5 billion hacking of the virtual currency exchange.

Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Rhiannon Morgan, 31, both of New York City, were to appear in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday for an alleged conspiracy to launder cryptocurrency stolen during the 2016 hack of Bitfinex. 

Authorities have seized $3.6 billion in cryptocurrency so far, which Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said is the DOJ’s largest financial seizure ever. Monaco said the couple laundered money “through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions” and “In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity.”

“Thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department once again showed how it can and will follow the money, no matter what form it takes,” Monaco said.

Lichtensten, a native of Rostov, Russia, is charged with money laundering conspiracy and conspiracy to defraud the United States, as is Morgan, who court documents say was born in Ontario, Oregon. Both were arrested at their apartment on Wall Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, according to court documents filed in the Southern District of New York.

Lichtenstein is represented by Anirudh Bansal of Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP. Morgan is represented by Samson Aaron Enzer, also of Cahill Gordon & Reindel. Neither attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Read the DOJ news release here.

Pinterest headquarters. (Shutterstock)

Judge Alsup Demands More Info on Pinterest’s Alleged Nixing of Nondisclosure Agreements

Pinterest made a splash when it announced that, as part of its settlement of securities directive litigation related to workplace harassment claims, it would no longer be requiring nondisclosure agreements for harassment or discrimination lawsuits.

Now the judge in charge of approving the settlement, U.S. District Judge William Alsup, wants more information. Read more in my story here.

On the Radar

The Nitty-Gritty of Big Law Mergers: Making the Tech Work in 3 Recent Tie-Ups

Chief information officers at Holland & Knight, Dinsmore & Shohl and Thompson Coburn share merger lessons. Read more from Dan Packel here.

As California Readies Automatic Renewal Law, Compliance Efforts May Already Be Falling Behind

California’s amended automatic-renewal law is set to go into effect in July. But a patchwork of other states’ laws may push some companies to risk under-compliance. Read more from Victoria Hudgins here.

4th Circuit: Exigent Circumstances Can Justify Obtaining Cellphone Data Without a Warrant

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