21-Year-Old Stole $24M in Bitcoin, Now Has To Pay $75.8M Back To The Victim

Cryptocurrency theft and fraud is a serious problem, and in this so-called “Wild West” of crypto hacks and scams, most victims never recover their stolen funds. However, this wasn’t the case for blockchain and crypto investor Michael Terpin, who was reportedly defrauded of 3 million tokens worth $23.8 million in early 2018.

According to a report from Reuters on May 10, Terpin won $75.8 million in a civil case against 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia, who defrauded him of the tokens last year.

Per the report, the California Superior Court ordered the perpetrator to pay the above amount in compensatory and punitive damages, making this one of the largest court judgments awarded to an individual in the cryptocurrency space thus far.

Crypto Theft via SIM Swapping

In August 2018, Terpin filed a lawsuit against AT&T for negligence that allowed the thief to gain control over his phone number and steal nearly $24 million worth of crypto by resetting passwords and accessing his online accounts.

In addition to the aforementioned crime, Truglia was arrested in November for 6 other crimes, including the theft of $1 million worth of crypto in other SIM swapping hacks. Prior to his arrest, Truglia reportedly lived a life of luxury, flying on private jets, driving sports cars, and wearing Rolex watches.

Moreover, Cointelegraph recently reported that a hacking group labeled “The Community” was charged with a 15-count indictment on May 9 for SIM swapping cryptocurrency theft.

All in all, this goes to show that storing your cryptocurrency in an offline hardware wallet is much safer than keeping it on an exchange or any mobile or online wallet. Still, it is heartening to see that a standard is being set for bringing crypto thieves to justice.

Do you store significant amounts of crypto on exchanges or in hot wallets? Let us know how you secure your crypto in the comment section below.

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