NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. entrepreneur and cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin filed a $224 million lawsuit on Wednesday towards telecommunications firm AT&T (T.N), accusing it of fraud and gross negligence in reference to the theft of digital forex tokens from his private account.
An AT&T brand is pictured in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
In a 69-page criticism filed with the U.S. District Courtroom in Los Angeles, Terpin alleged that on January 7, 2018, the tokens have been stolen from him by means of what he alleged was a “digital identification theft” of his cellphone account. Within the criticism, he stated AT&T was his service supplier.
In an emailed response, an AT&T spokesman stated: “We dispute these allegations and look ahead to presenting our case in court docket.”
On the time of the theft, the three million stolen tokens have been value $23.eight million, the criticism stated. Terpin can be searching for $200 million in punitive damages.
The criticism stated that AT&T had been beforehand contacted by legislation enforcement authorities about such frauds.
Cryptocurrencies have a market capitalization of about $200 billion, based on knowledge from digital coin tracker coinmarketcap.com. 9 years after bitcoin got here into existence, the market has seen the emergence of greater than 1,800 digital currencies.
Terpin, represented by Los Angeles litigation agency Greenberg Glusker, claimed within the lawsuit that after the theft of the digital forex, his cellphone account was transferred to a world prison gang.
Terpin co-founded the primary angel group for bitcoin buyers, BitAngels, in early 2013, and the primary digital forex fund, the BitAngels/Dapps Fund, in March 2014. He’s a senior advisor to Alphabit Fund, one of many world’s largest digital forex hedge funds.
The criticism claimed that the theft of the tokens occurred by means of what known as a SIM swap fraud. SIM stands for subscriber identification module, and SIM playing cards are used to authenticate subscribers on cell phones.
SIM swapping consists of tricking a supplier into transferring a subscriber’s cellphone quantity to a SIM card managed by another person. As soon as that individual will get the cellphone quantity, it may be used to reset the subscriber’s passwords and entry on-line accounts.
Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Modifying by Toni Reinhold and Nick Zieminski