Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan, who, along with her husband Ilya Lichtenstein, is accused of laundering 119,754 Bitcoin stolen during the hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex back in 2016, has asked permission to access her crypto wallets and exchange accounts to calculate the couple’s tax liabilities.
In a court filing dated September 12, Morgan’s counsel Burnham & Gorokhov, PLLC, sought the court’s clarification if Morgan accessing her wallets would violate pretrial conditions.
“To determine her tax liability, Ms. Morgan must access specific cryptocurrency wallets in order to calculate income from the sales of cryptocurrency assets. Undersigned counsel has discussed this issue with the government and the government understands Ms. Morgan’s need to access this information,” reads the filing.
According to the document, the government has no objection to the request.
The filing further says the conditions of pretrial release prohibit Morgan from engaging in crypto transactions, and “while this condition does not appear to preclude Ms. Morgan from merely accessing cryptocurrency accounts, accessing such accounts is one step away from engaging in transactions.”
“Therefore, Ms. Morgan respectfully requests this court clarify that she is permitted to access her cryptocurrency wallets and exchange accounts for the limited purposes of calculating her tax liability,” reads the motion.
Awaiting the trial
US authorities arrested Morgan and Lichtenstein in February this year, charging the couple with conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection to the 2016 hack of Bitfinex in which almost 120,000 Bitcoin were stolen.
At the time, the stolen Bitcoin was worth about $71 million, but given the wild gains in the crypto markets since then, it was valued at over $4 billion in February, when the couple was arrested.
After the initial hearings in February, Morgan was released on an $8 million bail, while Lichtenstein remains in custody. Authorities have also prohibited the couple from engaging in crypto activity as they await trial. If found guilty by trial, the couple faces up to 25 years in prison.
Morgan broke her six-month silence on Twitter in August to state she no longer has any involvement in crypto or non-fungible token (NFT) projects.
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