The Supreme Court in California has ruled in favor of crypto entrepreneur Michael Terpin, awarding him compensation and punitive damages equalling to USD 75.8 million. The judgment went against a 21-year old Nicolas Truglia, whom Terpin names as the person responsible for the theft of his cryptocurrency.

Amid ongoing investigations into Truglia, who has been arrested for six other crimes, for other criminal activities, Terpin is still pursuing network provider AT&T for USD 224 million. He said:

“We, of course, are still actively pursuing our federal court case against AT&T, whose gross negligence we contend allowed these crimes to occur.”

Allegedly, Truglia is a member of a criminal gang whose modus operandi involves phone SIM card swapping. Calling themselves “The Community”, they took over users’ phones by replacing the SIM card with their own. It requires gathering enough data on the victim before asking the service provider to issue them a new SIM card with the same original details. Lookout’s Andrew Blaich explained:

“There are many public cases of attackers social engineering their way through a cellular company’s representative to get a SIM card issued for an account the attacker doesn’t own or have access to. It appears to be easy to do as all you need is a willing/susceptible representative at any cellular phone store.”

Law firm Silver Miller last year proceeded with lawsuits against AT&T and T-Mobile over their roles in facilitating SIM swapping in other crypto scams.

 

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