A crypto investor who suffered a gut-wrenching $24 million loss in a sim swap hack scored an early victory against wireless carrier AT&T when a judge rejected the telecom giant's request to dismiss the investor's $224 million lawsuit, a press release published yesterday stated.
Crypto investor demands justice - and cash - from AT&T
Michael Terpin – a prominent angel investor in the cryptocurrency space and the "Godfather of Crypto" according to one news outlet – has since reclaimed the $23.8 million of digital currency he lost during a sim swap hack with the California Supreme Court awarding the investor over $75.8 million in compensation.
Despite that, the angel investor sued AT&T for $224 million last year in pursuit of justice.
According to Terpin, AT&T negligently allowed the hacker to acquire unauthorized access to his cell phone account by impersonating him and convincing an employee to provide access to his phone number without requesting any identification documents or security information like PIN codes.
Moreover, Terpin is also challenging AT&T's "oppressive" and "one-sided" contracts the telecom giant "forces tens of millions of consumers to sign" and purports to relinquish any right to hold the telco giant financially responsible for its wrongful acts."
"Mr. Terpin alleges that as a result of these illegal contract provisions, the entire customer agreement is unenforceable because the central purpose of the agreement is tainted with illegality," Los Angeles Federal Judge Otis Wright II stated regarding the case.
Big blow to $230 billion telecom giant
AT&T has requested the court dismiss the lawsuit, stating that Terpin's claim was not ripe for litigation – but with no success.
According to the press release, Judge Wright has dismissed AT&T's request and ruled that the firm must answer the investor's claims for violation of the Federal Communications Act, breach of contract, as well as other violations of law.
"Judge Wright strongly repudiated AT&T’s audacious bid to prevent Michael from demonstrating to a jury the carrier’s contempt for consumers’ privacy and utter disregard of its legal obligations to prevent this very type of SIM swap and financial crime. "The evidence will show that AT&T not once, but twice allowed hackers posing as Michael to obtain his SIM card," Terpin’s lead counsel Pierce O’Donnell said.
Terpin stated that he is grateful for Judge Wright's decision that allows him to continue his journey on holding AT&T accountable for the damages of the sim swap hack.
"If AT&T demonstrated the same zeal to totally revamp its porous security system as it does to suppress the damning evidence of its callous indifference to its customers, we would not be in court," he said.