A United States-based cryptocurrency investor has sued a minor, alleging the theft of $23.8 million in digital currencies from him, Reuters reported on Thursday.
In the lawsuit filed in a federal court in New York, the plaintiff Michael Terpin accused Ellis Pinsky and his co-conspirators, none of whom are named, of stealing the massive amount in cryptocurrencies in January 2018.
He is now seeking damages of $71.4 million, triple the original amount in the stolen cryptocurrency.
Notably, Pinsky is still a senior in school, and when committing the alleged crime, he was merely 15 years old.
“On the surface, Pinsky is an ‘All American Boy,” the court complaint stated. “The tables are now turned.”
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The court documents detailed that Pinsky, along with co-conspirators, used SIM swapping techniques to gain control of the plaintiff’s smartphone, stealing millions in digital currencies and then bragged to his friends that he would never get caught.
SIM swapping is a very common technique used by hackers to take over another person’s SIM card simply by calling the network operator and giving some basic details.
Terpin is now accusing the defendants of violating federal laws against racketeering and computer fraud.
Fighting court battles in multiple fronts
Notably, Terpin also launched a $75.8 million civil suit in a California court against Nicholas Truglia, an alleged co-conspirator of Pinsky. He is also fighting against mobile carrier AT&T for facilitating cryptocurrency thefts in a $24 million lawsuit; however, a judge is considering dismissing the case.
With the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, thefts and scams are rising day-by-day. According to cybersecurity company CipherTrace, $4.52 billion in digital currencies were lost last year to various crimes compared to $1.74 billion the previous year.