The US cryptocurrency and blockchain technology investor Michael Terpin has just won a major cryptocurrency-related civil case. This marks one of the largest legal victories against someone conducting cryptocurrency fraud to date.
Terpin was defrauded of $24 million worth of crypto assets
Specifically, Reuters reports that Terpin won a substantial $75.8 million in damages. These damages were awarded against the 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia, who stands accused of defrauding Terpin of cryptocurrency assets.
Terpin filed his complaint against Truglia late last December. However, this came after first filing a lawsuit against the telecommunications company AT&T. Terpin alleged that AT&T had supposedly inadvertently allowed Truglia to gain control over Terpin’s phone.
What’s more, Truglia is said to have exploited this AT&T mistake in order to seize approximately $24 million worth of Terpin’s cryptocurrency holdings.
Reuters reports that the California Superior Court ordered Truglia to pay a whopping $75.8 million in punitive and compensatory damages. Moreover, Reuters also notes that this amount is one of the single largest court judgments awarded to an individual in a cryptocurrency-related affair.
This case could serve as a deterrent to cryptocurrency fraud
What’s more, Truglia – along with other cryptocurrency fraudsters – is said to have taken control over Terpin’s cryptocurrency tokens by transferring Terpin’s phone number to under Truglia’s control.
Moreover, the culprits are then said to have reset Terpin’s passwords, and ultimately accessed his online accounts. However, this is not the only cryptocurrency scam Truglia has been involved in.
Rather, Truglia was arrested last November following a SIM swapping scam, in which Truglia stole $1 million worth of cryptocurrency. As such, it would seem clear that Truglia has been involved in more than one case of crypto fraud.
Truglia is also said to have lived a life of luxury, funded in part by his cryptocurrency scams. Before his arrest last November, Truglia supposedly threw money at lavish sports cars, luxury watches and private jets.
Anecdotally, SIM swapping scams are still a relevant issue within the cryptocurrency community. Although not overly widespread, the occurrence of SIM swapping is common enough for the US Department of Justice to have recently released a fifteen-count indictment of the hacking group known as The Community.
Nevertheless, Terpin’s legal victory against Truglia shows that cryptocurrency fraud will not go unpunished. As such, this could set a powerful precedent in deterring future crypto-related crime or fraud.
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.