NY Man Pleads Guilty in $20 Million SIM Swap Theft
Nicholas Truglia, a 24-year-old New York resident, has pleaded guilty of helping to steal more than $20 million worth of cryptocurrency from a technology executive names Michael Terpin. Terpin is a cryptocurrency investor who co-founded the first angel investor group for bitcoin. Truglia was a member of a group that allegedly stole more than $100 million total in cryptocurrency from wealthy investors using fraudulent “SIM swaps,” a scam in which identity thieves are hijack a target’s mobile phone number and use that to gain control over victim’s online identities. Truglia has plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Truglia admitted that he allowed his friend to use his Binance account in 2018 to launder more than $20 million in virtual currency stolen from Terpin. After the theft, Terpin filed a civil lawsuit against Truglia with the Los Angeles Superior court. Truglia was criminally indicted in January 2020. The SIM swap attack consists of attackers tricking mobile providers into tying a target’s service to a new SIM card and mobile phone controlled by the scammers. Unauthorized SIM swaps are often perpetrated by attackers who have already access a target’s password.