Infamous Crypto SIM Swapping Con-Man Sued by One of Victims, Following Arrest of the Bitcoin Bandit
Nicolas Truglia has earned his place in the news lately for his theft of $1 million in digital assets, leading to an arrest. Newly released court documents show that one of his victims, Michael Terpin, is coming to get what is rightfully his, suing Truglia for $81 million. Terpin was one of the earliest investors in Bitcoin.
The documents stated that Terpin experienced a theft of $24 million in cryptocurrency as a crew of 25 people worked together to steal the funds. However, the group is believed to have stolen a total of $80 million, which includes the funds from Terpin and multiple other crypto owners. Luckily, the local authorities caught up before anything else could be stolen.
Due to the way these crimes were committed, Terpin is applying the US Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. This law makes it possible for victim to pursue up to three times the damages they sustained. This is often applied in an effort to punish criminal groups like the mafia.
The crew is also known as “OG Users” since 2017, and it is believed that they use false identification documents, which make it possible to control someone else’s phone with a method called SIM-swapping. The process made it possible to intercept messages and lift the private keys to steal the funds.
Terpin’s lawyers said, “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.”
Phishing and the dark web were used to collect the necessary data from the victims. Bragging to another individual, evidence sourcing revealed that Nicolas Truglia texted, “I’m a millionaire. I’m not kidding. I have 100 Bitcoin.” This theft is expected to be the biggest that Truglia has ever performed.
Still, Truglia seemed to feel untouchable. In another text, he wrote, “Nobody can get me in trouble. Nobody can put me in jail. I would bet my life on it, actually.”
At this point, much to his dismay, Truglia is still in custody. Chris David, a private jet broker, was included in documentation provided to the court, offering insight of what Truglia’s world is like. He said, “$6,000 per month apartment, wore a Rolex watch [said to be] worth $100,000.”
He noted that Truglia had plans of spending another quarter of a million dollars on a sports car, along with a private jet and a condominium in Manhattan.
Continuing, David said, “[…] I quoted [Truglia] a price of $38,000 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. In particular, I saw he had over $7 million of cash in his JP Morgan Chase mobile application, and he had over $12 million of various cryptos in his Gemini account on his computer,” continued David. “One had over $40 million cash value of various cryptos, and the other one had over $20 million […]. Ultimately, Nick did not lease the jet that I offered.”
Based on what David said, it looks like Truglia led him to believe that he had earned all of his revenue from mining crypto assets at first. However, he allegedly confessed later that he had stolen the cryptocurrency. He even took to social media to brag on his thefts.
There have been accusations from Truglia that his friends intended to steal his crypto wallets and laptop, even beating him up to get what they wanted. However, David’s submissions to the court tell a different story. He said,
“[Truglia] lured me to his apartment to borrow $50 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. This charge was bogus. I spent the night in jail. Eventually, Nick recanted, and the false charges were dropped.”
It only took two weeks after these events allegedly took place for Truglia to be detained by police after being caught with $1 million in cryptocurrency, which is believed to have come from a theft involving an executive in the Bay Area. He has since been charged with 21 felony counts, and he is being held in Santa Clara County, California.
Along with the lawsuit against Truglia, Terpin is also suing AT&T for their “gross negligence” that ultimately led to his loss of funds, according to reports from TheNextWeb. When Terpin was interviewed by CoinTelegraph last year, he said that place that posts the greatest risk to investors “is that major phone companies promise you security and don’t deliver it.”