A Florida man has been sentenced to 18 months for the theft of more than $20m worth of cryptocurrency.
The culprit, one Nicholas Truglia, was sentenced in the Southern District of New York, over his participation in a SIM swap attack which targeted the victim’s cryptocurrency holdings and ended up in claiming more than $20,379,007 worth of crypto.
Truglia has been ordered to pay a restitution of the same amount to the victim within 60 days.
US attorney Damian Williams said that Truglia and his associates have participated in a complicated crypto attack against the victim but insisted that no matter how sophisticated a crime is, authorities have the means necessary to investigate it and bring those responsible to justice.
The case dates to 2018 when Truglia helped reroute the victim’s number through a subscriber identity module card controlled by the threat actors who then managed to gain access to any incoming messages and calls on the victim’s mobile phone.
The attack, known as SIM swapping, resulted in the criminals successfully unlocking the victim’s funds and transferring the equivalent of $20m of funds as stated before.
Truglia’s own participation was not so much to enact the actual cyberattack, but rather focused on him receiving the stolen funds and holding them in an online account in his name.
Once his account was set up, the other participants in the scheme transferred the funds. The defendant kept at least $673,000 of the stolen funds, but he is on the hook for the full amount.
Truglia will also have to forfeit an additional $983,010.72. The original funds however were transferred out of Truglia’s account, with only a part of that amount remaining in his own account.
Crypto scams of all sorts are becoming increasingly popular, from sophisticated attacks on a person’s smartphone to low-tech options such as QR codes distributed in public spaces, looking for gullible investors.
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