Michael Terpin, Bitcoin ATM theft victim, has filed a lawsuit against AT&T, citing some negligence from the part of the telecommunication company that led to the loss of his bitcoins. This is according to a report by The Register.
Terpin sues AT&T, Nicolas Truglia
According to the report by The Register, Terpin has sued Nicolas Truglia, the con-man that stole bitcoins from him. Truglia has already been arrested after he was involved in another theft of cryptocurrencies worth 1 million USD. Terpin is suing the crypto con-man for 81 million USD.
According to court documents, Truglia partnered with 25 unnamed individuals to steal cryptocurrency worth 24 million USD from Terpin. The report added that Terpin has also sued AT&T for 224 million USD, accusing them of negligence leading to the theft.
Truglia was reported to have stolen cryptocurrencies worth roughly 80 million USD from Terpin and other early investors before he was apprehended. Terpin was able to leverage the US Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, a federal law due to the nature of the crimes. The act enables victims to sue for triple damages.
Truglia used SIM-swapping in theft scheme
Over the past two years, Truglia and his friends – popularly known as “OG Users” – used fake ID documents to swap numbers of victims to numbers under their control. The process enabled them to intercept the victim’s messages. They also had access to other crucial information such as 2FA codes, which gave them access to user’s private keys.
Terpin’s lawyers stated that “On January 7, 2018, Mr. Terpin’s phone with his AT&T wireless number went dead. As Mr. Terpin’s subsequent discussions with AT&T revealed, an AT&T employee on that date had ported over Mr. Terpin’s wireless number to an imposter.”
The data used by the scammers was discovered to have been acquired via phishing or on the dark web. Terpin was the group’s biggest victim, with Truglia bragging to another individual after that saying “I’m a millionaire. I’m not kidding. I have 100 Bitcoin.”
Before his arrest, court documents revealed that Truglia stated, “Nobody can get me in trouble. Nobody can put me in jail. I would bet my life on it, actually.” At the moment, Truglia is reported to still be in custody.
Chris David backs Terpin’s case
Terpin has received support from private jet broker, Chris David. The broker provided some information regarding how Truglia lived. He claimed that Truglia lived in a “6,000 USD per month apartment, wore a Rolex watch [said to be] worth 100,000 USD.” He also stated that Truglia had revealed plans to purchase a 250,000 USD McLaren sports car, a private jet, and a Manhattan condominium.
“I quoted [Truglia] a price of 38,000 USD for the private jet he wanted to hire,” recounted David. “He said that he could pay that amount out of his cryptos, and he showed me his accounts on his computer and mobile phone, totaling tens of millions of dollars”.
He added that “In particular, I saw he had over 7 million USD of cash in his JP Morgan Chase mobile application, and he had over 12 million USD of various cryptos in his Gemini account on his computer. One had over 40 million USD cash value of various cryptos, and the other one had over 20 million USD […]. Ultimately, Nick did not lease the jet that I offered”.
David asked Truglia how he came to be in possession of so much cryptocurrency, Truglia replied that it came from profits derived from cryptocurrency mining. David claimed that Truglia later confessed that he stole the digital assets from other people. Screenshots were presented indicating that Truglia bragged about his success on social media.
Recent lawsuit reveals more evidence against Truglia
In November, Truglia claimed to have been beaten up and tortured by his friends. He alleged that they were aiming to steal his laptop and crypto wallets. David provided further information on this issue, as he was one of the accused torturers.
David noted that “[Truglia] lured me to his apartment to borrow 50 USD because he supposedly had lost his wallet. Shortly after I arrived and gave him the money, the police came and arrested me for allegedly stealing Nick’s laptop. I was shocked and confused since Nick had asked me to take his computer, and I returned it the next morning, and we had hung out together two days in a row.”
He added that “This charge was bogus. I spent the night in jail. Eventually, Nick recanted, and the false charges were dropped.”
Two weeks later, Truglia was caught by authorities after stealing 1 million USD in cryptocurrency from Bay Area exec.