Baby Al Capone Steals 10s of Millions in Cryptocurrency
In 2018, Michael Terpin’s cryptocurrency account was hacked into by 6 computer hackers and about $23.8 million was stolen. The leader of the hacking team is believed to be 15-year-old Ellis Pinsky, according to a report by The New York Post.
The lawsuit against Pinsky and his team asks for $71.4 million.
For the most part, Pinsky was a typical 15-year-old teen. That said, he reportedly made comments to acquaintances of his large fortune, writing to one, “I could buy you and all your family. I have 100 million dollars.”
The complaint in Terpin’s case poses Pinsky as the mastermind behind this scheme and others, saying, “In his early teens, [Ellis] began hacking computers with the mission of accessing his victims’ private accounts where they store their cryptocurrency holdings or private information.”
Pinsky also has a keen interest in video games and frequents private video game chatrooms often. On there, it is reported that he began taking part in SIM-swapping, which is where hackers can steal their victim’s digital identity from their SIM card, and hackers can often take control of digital usernames which they can sell for large amounts of money.
SIM-swapping can also be used to steal cryptocurrency, which is what Pinsky is accused of doing against Terpin.
An insider claims that this accusation is plausible, saying, “Once you are in somebody’s phone, stealing valuable names, taking their Bitcoin seems obvious. Plus, stealing crypto is impersonal. For kids who spend their whole lives staring at screens and playing games, it feels natural.”
Pinsky is known for leading such schemes in the past and threatening anyone that upset him.
Despite these claims, Pinsky’s attorney, Noam Biale, maintains that her client was only a child at the time of the hacking and that Terpin has only brought about the lawsuit in spite.
Terpin’s attorney Pierce O’Donnell claims that Nick Truglia, one of Pinsky’s associates, helped in identifying vulnerable targets. Truglia is four years older than Pinsky and was charged with another hack last year. A California court issued a $75.8 million judgement against him for the Terpin case.
One of the friends helping Pinsky steal the Terpin money lost about $700,000 of it after sending it to the wrong person, which could not be retrieved. The friend claims that Pinksy then asked him to get the money to him in any way possible, requesting $3,000 to $4,000 a week.
It is uncertain how Pinsky’s parents were so unaware of how their son earned his money, especially given the luxurious items he bought for himself. An insider claims that Pinsky told his parents that he had gotten lucky making money on Bitcoin.
The same insider also asserts that Pinsky planned to retire from crime after the case with Terpin.
During the investigation, the complaint also states that “Pinsky . . . sent cryptocurrency, cash and a watch to [Terpin] without any condition . . . There was no other reason to repatriate these items — worth nearly $2 million at the time — other than to make a partial repayment of what he had stolen from Terpin.”
No criminal charges have been filed against Pinsky, although Terpin admitted to waiting until Pinsky turned 18 to file a civil suit against him and granting him the nickname of Baby Al Capone.