The weird case of a New York couple accused of trying to launder $4.5 billion in bitcoin stolen by a 2016 hack would be the topic of a docuseries on Netflix, the streaming company said Friday.
The announcement comes simply three days after the couple, Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein and Heather “Razzlekhan” Morgan were arrested in their lower Manhattan apartment.
The Division of Justice on the time of the arrest mentioned it had additionally seized greater than $3.6 billion in bitcoin that was a part of the alleged scheme, the largest such monetary seizure in DOJ historical past.
Netflix mentioned the sequence on the couple can be directed by Chris Smith, who beforehand helmed the Netflix sequence “FYRE: The Biggest Celebration That By no means Occurred,” concerning the fraudulent Fyre Pageant, and was govt producer of the corporate’s Covid pandemic smash hit “Tiger King.”
The deal, which comes just a few days after the unique story broke, comes amid an increase in urge for food by Hollywood for tales about — largely failures and fraud — in tech.
HBO this week ordered a sequence primarily based on Fb known as “Doomsday Machine,” which can depict Sheryl Sandberg, performed by “The Crown” star Claire Foy, and Mark Zuckerberg and “chronicling the political and social minefields Fb has navigated on its relentless quest for progress.
It additionally comes as Hulu dropped the trailer for its forthcoming sequence about failed blood startup Theranos known as “The Drop Out” and Apple not too long ago dropped its trailer for WeWork-inspired sequence “WeCrashed.”
Undoubtedly fueling Netflix’s curiosity is the colourful social media footprint of Morgan, a 31-year-old former Forbes.com contributor and self-described “irreverent comedic rapper” and “crocodile of Wall Road,” whose movies of her rapping had been broadly mocked on Twitter after her arrest.
“As the worth of the stolen bitcoin soared from $71 million on the time of the hack to just about $5 billion, the couple allegedly tried to liquidate their digital cash by creating pretend identities and on-line accounts, and shopping for bodily gold, NFTs, and extra – all whereas investigators raced to trace the cash’s motion on the blockchain,” Netflix mentioned in its announcement Friday.
Prosecutors say the couple tried to cover the supply of bitcoin stolen within the hack of the cryptocurrency trade Bitfinex in 2016 by quite a few Byzantine transactions.
Lichtenstein, 34, and Morgan stay in federal custody. They’re attributable to seem in U.S. District Courtroom in Washington, D.C. for a listening to on whether or not they are often launched on bail.
Prosecutors need to preserve them locked up pending trial in D.C.
However their protection attorneys need them launched on bail set Tuesday in New York by one other choose, who set a $5 million bond for Lichtenstein, and $3 million for Morgan.
One among their attorneys said Wednesday in a court filing that the couple is not a flight risk as a result of they “beforehand froze a number of of ]Morgan’s] embryos at a hospital in New York in anticipation of beginning a household collectively, as she will be able to solely conceive by in vitro fertilization.”
“The couple would by no means flee from the nation on the danger of shedding entry to their skill to have kids, which they had been discussing having this 12 months till their lives had been disrupted by their arrests on this case,” the lawyer wrote.