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Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on November 21, 2018

Bitcoin beatdown ‘victim’ jailed for $1M cryptocurrency theft

The plot thickens!

Bitcoin beatdown ‘victim’ jailed for $1M cryptocurrency theft
David Canellis
Story by

David Canellis

David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.

Remember that kid that got tortured by his friends in an attempt to steal his Bitcoin about a month ago?

Well, turns out he may have actually made his cryptocurrency fortune by stealing it from a Silicon Valley exec, after pulling an elaborate SIM-swapping scheme.

Santa Clara investigators recently arrested Nicholas Truglia, a 21-year-old con man from New York, for removing $1 million in cryptocurrency from exchange accounts belonging to the Bay Area‘s richest, New York Post reports.

Authorities allege Truglia used an en vogue hacking technique called SIM-swapping, convincing tech support staff to port the phone numbers of six victims to phones owned himself.

Trugilia used this form of social engineering to siphon $1 million in cryptocurrency from exchange accounts belonging to Robert Ross, a father of two from San Francisco.

According to officials, $500,000 disappeared from Ross’ Coinbase account in seconds on October 26. Another $500,000 being held on the Winklevi’s Gemini exchange vanished simultaneously.

Sadly, it was noted that the $1 million in cryptocurrency was actually Ross’ entire life savings, and his daughters’ college fund. Only $300,000 of it was able to be recovered.

Truglia is currently being held at the Manhattan Detention Complex, awaiting extradition to California. He faces 21 felony counts including the use personal information without authorization and grand theft.

Curiously, prosecutors indicated Truglia was working on a crew.

Coinbase accounts are certainly becoming a prime target for cryptocurrency thieves. Back in September, SIM-swappers made headlines when they managed to lift $200,000 in cryptocurrency from the Coinbase account of a prominent League of Legends star.

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