A woman behind what the Justice Department called her ‘biggest financial grab ever’ has caught the internet’s attention, but not because she is accused of trying to launder billions of stolen bitcoins.
Heather Morgan and her husband, Ilya Lichtenstein, were arrested on Tuesday and charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars worth of bitcoin stolen in a 2016 hack targeting virtual cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, the ministry said. of Justice.
It didn’t take long after news broke of Morgan’s arrest that people found his significant online footprint. Morgan has since gone viral for her extensive social media presence, including her rap songs on YouTube and Spotify and her articles for Forbes.
Now, Morgan’s online presence has become as much a spectacle as the operation she is accused of.
Morgan was called rapper ‘Razzlekhan’
According to court documents, Lichtenstein and Morgan conspired to launder the proceeds of 119,754 bitcoins that were stolen from a platform called Bitfinex after a hacker breached Bitfinex’s systems and initiated over 2,000 unauthorized transactions. .
Justice Department documents list “Razzlekhan” as one of her aliases – which is also the name she used on her social media accounts, many of which she used to share her music.
On her website’s homepage, the description reads: “Wall Street’s infamous crocodile has struck again! More fearless and brazen than ever, she’s taking on everyone from big corporations from software to healthcare professionals to financiers.
She wrote that Razzlekhan is “like Genghis Khan, but with more spice.”
In a now private YouTube video titled “Rap Anthem for Misfits & Weirdos: Versace Bedouin Music Video”, Morgan describes herself as a “rapper, economist, journalist, writer, CEO and a dirty, dirty, dirty ho.”
His YouTube channel, Razzlekhan, included vlog-style videos in addition to rap clips. In one, she showed off her “eyeball” of prosthetic eyes, which she said she planned to use for crafting. In a TikTok video posted in April, she asked viewers for tips on sticking a prosthetic eyeball on a vintage brooch.
She also had some of her music on Spotify.
Attempts to reach her through her various accounts were unsuccessful. A lawyer for Morgan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Since Morgan went viral for her rap career this week, all videos on her YouTube channel have been made private except for a live stream of a Black Lives Matter protest in New York.
His TikTok accounts still seem active
Morgan’s apparent TikTok accounts, heatherreyhan and realrazzlekhan, appear to still be active.
On the heatherreyhan TikTok account, Morgan bragged about building a “multi-million dollar business” at age 23 with “zero outside funding and no connections.” She stopped posting videos to the account after January 7, 2021.
The realrazzlekhan account appeared more active.
In a recent video, Morgan showed viewers her collection of “Razzle nails,” layers of nail polish that peeled off her nail-like manicure. She said she was saving them for an art project.
On TikTok, Morgan called herself a “$pace Pimp” and often posted videos of her feet in addition to freestyle rapping videos. In a video posted in July 2020, she makes “toe rings” out of gummy Lifesavers, stretching the candy over each toe. In later videos, she showed how she uses chopsticks with feet.
Since news of his arrest broke, TikTok users have flooded Morgan’s videos with comments.
In a video – in which Morgan documents her brunch and says she makes a “social media comment and how [expletive] superficial and consumerist is our society” — viewers pointed out the irony of his statement.
“Why do you use the money…? Consumerism?” said one commenter.
“How superficial is our society?” another replied. “You are literally pretending to have earned the food you eat.”
Morgan has written articles like “How to Become a Successful YouTuber in 2021”
In addition to posting frequently on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram (the latter account has also been made private), Morgan was a frequent contributor to Forbes and Inc.
Her Forbes biography describes her as an “expert in persuasion, social engineering, and game theory.”
She has frequently covered internet culture, writing essays on artists whose music has gone viral on TikTok, such as Ashnikko and The Kid LAROI. She also wrote an article titled “How to Become a Successful YouTuber in 2021”, featuring fashion designer Bestdressed.
In an article interviewing experts on how business owners could protect themselves against cybercriminals, Morgan wrote, “Older adults are particularly vulnerable to these crimes, but the combination of weak cybersecurity and the personal information available on the darknet makes anyone a potential. victim.”
Morgan and Lichtenstein allegedly used “numerous sophisticated money laundering techniques,” the Justice Department said, such as using false identities to create accounts, automating transactions using software, and depositing the stolen funds into a variety of exchange accounts and “darknet markets”. ” before withdrawing them, which “clouds the trace of the transaction history”.
They also reportedly converted bitcoins into other types of cryptocurrency and used US-based business accounts to “legitimize their banking business.”
“Cryptocurrency and the virtual currency exchanges traded therein are a growing part of the U.S. financial system, but digital currency heists executed through complex money laundering schemes could undermine trust in cryptocurrency. currency,” U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves said in the Justice Department announcement.
The couple face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to launder money and up to five years if convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
The Department of Justice said there would be a legal process to claim and request the return of any stolen bitcoin.