Heather Morgan is accused of laundering billions of dollars in stolen bitcoin with her husband, but her alleged crimes are likely to be overshadowed by an excruciating foray into rap music.
Morgan, also known – largely to herself – as “raunchy rapper” Razzlekhan, was arrested along with her husband Ilya “Dutch” Lichtenstein in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The headline announced by the Department of Justice was the couple’s alleged involvement in laundering bitcoin stolen in a 2016 hack of the Hong Kong-based virtual currency exchange Bitfinex.
But public attention was swiftly diverted when it emerged that Morgan had another life as an aspiring rap star, and had put out a video that became an internet sensation for its sheer awfulness.
Dubbed “Bitcoin Bonnie and Crypto Clyde” by financial newsletter Morning Brew, Lichtenstein, 34, and Morgan, 31, are being held without bail until a hearing on Friday.
Details about Lichtenstein, a dual US-Russian national from Illinois, and Morgan, who is from California, have emerged since their arrest from their voluminous social media presence.
Morgan’s cringeworthy rap videos in particular were burning up the internet before being taken offline.
On her website, Morgan calls herself “Razzlekhan” or the “Versace Bedouin” – “the raunchy rapper with more pizzazz than Genghis Khan.”
“I’m a real risk taker/pirate riding the flood/I’m a badass money maker,” she raps in one video in which she refers to herself as the “Crocodile of Wall Street”.
A June 2020 article she wrote for Forbes was ironically titled: “Experts Share Tips To Protect Your Business From Cybercriminals.”
More discreet online, Lichtenstein described himself on LinkedIn as a “technology entrepreneur, coder and investor” and the founder of several tech companies.
In a Facebook post, he recalled how he proposed to Morgan – “my best friend and the woman of my dreams!”
Lichtenstein and Morgan allegedly sought to launder the proceeds of 119,754 bitcoin – presently valued at $4.5 billion – stolen in the 2016 hack of Bitfinex.
Officials said they had recovered 94,000 of the stolen bitcoin valued at over $3.6 billion at the time of the seizure.
The couple face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to launder money.
- AFP, with additional editing by George Russell