On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced it had seized more than $3.5 billion worth of stolen Bitcoin, stemming from the massive hack of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex in 2016. In addition to the recovered beep-boop money, dubbed “the largest financial seizure ever” by Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, federal agents also arrested Ilya Lichtenstein and Heather Morgan, a married couple accused of conspiring to launder the reclaimed Bitcoin, in addition to around a billion dollars’ worth of cryptocurrency still at large.
The details of the case — how the couple allegedly shuffled the stolen funds through a thresher of laundering techniques, how the feds apparently tracked money that prides itself (incorrectly) on being largely untraceable, the precedent this sets in terms of regulating the crypto-ecosystem ahead of an inevitable bubble burst — are all interesting, and by no means do I want to downplay their significance in terms of law enforcement and cybersecurity. But I can’t help but feel as if l’affaire crypto is, in this instance, overshadowed by Morgan’s other job — the one she does when she’s not allegedly trying to execute one of the largest criminal financial schemes in history. The one she does under a different name: Razzlekhan, the infamous “Crocodile of Wall Street” rapper.
At this point, you might be saying “huh?” or “excuse me?” or perhaps just staring blankly at the above sentence. Please know that these are all perfectly normal responses, and also know that I am so sorry for what comes next:
Now, I’m sure you have questions. I know I did, the first time I watched whatever that was. On her website — which is currently still up, although her YouTube channel, Instagram account, and other social media presences have been either locked or purged following her arrest (her music videos have since been mirrored on other accounts) — Morgan-as-“Razz” describes her hip-hop style as “as “‘sexy horror comedy,’ because of her fondness for combining dark and disturbing concepts with dirty jokes and gestures.”
“Just like her fearless entrepreneurial spirit and hacker mindset, Razz shamelessly explores new frontiers of art, pushing the limit of what’s possible,” the site continues. “Whether that leads to something wonderful or terrible is unclear; the only thing that’s certain is it won't be boring or mediocre.”
Here, watch another Razzlekhan jawn and then ask yourself the following:
- Is it “unclear” whether this is wonderful or terrible, or is it extremely clear?
- Is this boring?
- Is this mediocre?
- Am I having a stroke?
- Why would a loving god allow their creation to experience type of suffering?
On one level, you have to admire the sheer chutzpah it takes for someone with no discernible rapping talent or interesting vocal delivery to try and cram together words that clearly have no business being in a rhyme scheme with one another. You also have to admire the chutzpah it took for Morgan, who in addition to having moonlit as a truly awful rapper, also moonlit as a Forbes contributor to write an article entitled “Experts Share Tips To Protect Your Business From Cybercriminals.”
According to the DOJ, both Morgan and her husband — who as best I can tell is not, himself, a rapper — now face up to 20 years in prison for the money laundering charges, and an additional five years for conspiracy to defraud the United States.