AT&T Wins Summary Judgment in $224M Crypto SIM Swap Lawsuit

News | April 5, 2023 By:

On Tuesday, March 28, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted AT&T’s motion for Summary Judgment in a $224 million crypto SIM swap lawsuit.

Filed in August 2018 by entrepreneur Michael Terpin, the lawsuit alleged 16 counts of fraud, gross negligence, invasion of privacy, unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer records, violation of a consent decree, failure to supervise its employees and investigate their criminal background, and related charges.

The suit arises from the January 7, 2018 theft of more than 3 million cryptocurrency tokens from Terpin by way of a digital identity theft by an AT&T agent of Terpin’s cellphone account. The funds were then transferred to an international criminal gang being pursued by the FBI and multiple other federal and state law enforcement agencies.

According to Terpin, AT&T promised him unbreachable security on its end through a unique, purportedly unchangeable password following a smaller SIM swap theft in June 2017.

“AT&T’s studied indifference to protecting its customers’ privacy and financial assets is a metastasizing cancer, threatening hundreds of millions of unsuspecting AT&T’s customers,” said Pierce O’Donnell, senior partner at leading litigation firm Greenberg Glusker in Century City, Los Angeles, which is lead counsel for Terpin in this complaint. “Our client had no idea when he initially signed up, nor when later he was promised the highest level of security for his account, that low-level retail employees with access to AT&T records, or people posing as them, can be bribed by criminals to override every system that AT&T advertises as unassailable.”

Last week, United States Federal Judge Otis D. Wright II ruled in favor of the telecommunications giant, stating that there is no evidence to support Terpin’s claims against AT&T.

The filing states:

“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:
1. Judgment is in favor of AT&T on all of Plaintiff’s claims;
2. Plaintiff is not entitled to recover any damages from AT&T in this action; and
3. All dates and deadlines are VACATED. The Clerk of the Court shall close the case.

IT IS SO ORDERED.”

A copy of the original filing can be found here.