A Large Pay Day
U.S. cryptocurrency investor and entrepreneur, Michael Terpin, is entitled to nearly $76 million in assorted crypto funds, which must be paid back by 21-year-old Nicholas Truglia. It is one of the largest-paying judgements ever afforded to a cryptocurrency theft victim.
Truglia allegedly gained control of Terpin’s cell phone back in early 2018. He was thereby able to gain control of Terpin’s cryptocurrency accounts, as his cell phone data contained his login credentials. From there, Truglia reportedly stole more than three million digital tokens from Terpin.
Last year, Terpin also filed a suit against AT&T, his service provider at the time. Terpin alleged that the phone and internet company did not do enough to ensure his safety and privacy and allowed Truglia to gain access to his user data. At the time, the stolen tokens were worth more than $23 million.
Truglia is not alleged to have acted alone. It is believed a string of six other “bandits” may have been involved in transferring Terpin’s private data over to their control. Terpin is now preparing “action” against the other criminals.
Truglia was arrested last November and is being charged with six additional crimes. Law enforcement officials are continuing to investigate these cases. A former friend of Truglia named Chris David says that before his arrest, Truglia was engaged in a luxurious life which included fancy sports cars, Rolex watches and even private jets.
In a related story, a 21-year-old man named Garret Endicott from Warrensburg near Kansas City has been arrested due to his potential link to a hacking ring known as “The Community.” The organization is believed to have stolen more than $2.4 million in assorted crypto funds from its users.
Endicott has been charged along with several others, including Conor Freeman of Dublin, Ireland; Ryan Stevenson of West Haven, Connecticut; Jarratt White of Tucson, Arizona, and Robert Jack of Tucson, Arizona. All these men (along with several others) are facing a total of 15 separate indictments, which were unsealed in a Michigan court in early May. These charges include wire fraud and “aggravated identity theft charges.”
The case was ultimately investigated by special agents from ICE – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – and Irish law enforcement officials.
This Is Happening More and More Often
Angie Salazar – acting special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Detroit – explained in a statement:
The allegations against these defendants are the result of a complex cryptocurrency and identity theft investigation led by Homeland Security Investigations, which spanned two continents. Increasingly, criminal groups are turning exclusively to web-based schemes to further their illicit activities, which is why HSI and has developed capabilities to meet these threats head on.