NY crypto investor sues teen over theft of $71.4 million in digital assets

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Posted on: May 8, 2020 5:59 pm EDT

An adolescent criminal mastermind launched a cryptocurrency cybertheft scheme when he was 15

According to a recent lawsuit that was filed in New York, an 18-year-old teen is suspected of being the brains behind an operation in which an investor lost millions of dollars in digital assets. The US
cryptocurrency investor filed the suit on Thursday, accusing Ellis Pinsky of Irvington, New York, of being the ringleader of this cybercrime scheme. According to the plaintiff, Michael Terpin, this teen, along with co-conspirators, allegedly stole $23.8 million worth of cryptocurrency in January 2018, when the suspect was only 15 years old.

Terpin is seeking for the return of the funds he lost, as well as triple damages of $71.4 million. “On the surface, Pinsky is an ‘All American Boy,’” Terpin said in a complaint filed in federal court in White Plains, New York. “The tables are now turned.” At this point, it is still unknown if Terpin has a lawyer yet, as he has not been reachable. In the filed complaint, Terpin said that Pinsky and his “gang of digital bandits” were running a scheme through SIM swaps, in which they gained control of the victim’s smartphones. Terpin even accused Pinsky of bragging to his friends that they would never get caught.

The charges presented against Pinsky and his co-conspirators, whose names are not mentioned in the suit, are for violations of federal laws on racketeering and computer fraud. This is not the first motion Terpin takes on this matter; a year ago he won a case against Nicholas Truglia in California – an associate of Pinsky facing criminal charges in both California and New York for criminal hacking. He won that civil judgment for $75.8 million.