An American federal judge has ruled that AT&T Mobility can be held to answer a lawsuit by Michael Terpin for enabling the theft of $24 million of his cryptocurrency by giving allowing for the theft of his SIM card (and his identity) to hackers in an inside job via a corrupt employee.
“I am grateful that Judge Wright is allowing my case to proceed,” remarked Terpin. “We must hold AT&T accountable. 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.”
The Hon. Otis Wright II rejected the wireless carrier’s effort to dismiss Terpin’s lawsuit for $224 million in its entirety, allowing the cryptocurrency thought leader to pursue federal claims for violation of the Federal Communications Act, breach of contract, and other violations of law. Judge Wright flatly denied AT&T’s request to disregard the 2011 Consent Decree with the Federal Communications Commission compelling protection of A&T consumer’s data privacy.
“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,” noted Terpin’s lead counsel Pierce O’Donnell, a partner with Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger in Los Angeles. “The evidence will show that AT&T not once, but twice allowed hackers posing as Michael to obtain his SIM card.”
With regard to Terpin’s foundational claim that AT&T violated the Federal Communications Act by giving the hackers unauthorized access to his account, Judge Wright stated:
“Mr. Terpin has sufficiently alleged that AT&T permitted unauthorized access to his proprietary information, specifically his account information and private communications.”
AT&T forces tens of millions of consumers to sign an oppressive, one-sided form contract that purports to relinquish any right to hold the telco giant financially responsible for its wrongful acts. AT&T unsuccessfully sought to prevent Terpin’s multi-prong challenge to the legality of the contract.
Judge Wright stated:
“Mr. Terpin’s claim … seeks to declare AT&T’s wireless customer agreement as unconscionable, void against public policy, and unenforceable in its entirety. … Specifically, he objects to the exculpatory provision that exempts AT&T from liability from its own negligence, acts or omissions of a third party, or damages or injury caused by the use of the device. … 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.… AT&T and Mr. Terpin have adverse legal interests of sufficient immediacy and reality to warrant a claim for declaratory judgment. The terms of the wireless customer agreement are directly implicated by this lawsuit, particularly the terms that Mr. Terpin has identified.”
Judge Wright gave Terpin 21 days to amend some of his claims.
Michael Terpin is a high-profile thought leader, entrepreneur and investor in the blockchain sector. He co-founded the first angel group for bitcoin investors, BitAngels, in early 2013, and the first-ever digital currency fund, the BitAngels/Dapps Fund, in March 2014, and is currently a senior advisor to Alphabit Fund, one of the world’s largest digital currency hedge funds. Terpin’s work with more than 100 token crowd sales, including Augur, Ethereum, MaidSafe, Neo and Qtum, led to CNBC calling Terpin “the godfather of crypto.” He is founder and CEO of Transform Group, the leading PR and advisory company for the public blockchain industry, and he organizes the long-running CoinAgenda global investor conference series and monthly BitAngels investor events in more than a dozen cities.
Prior to his involvement in the blockchain, Terpin founded and sold Marketwire, the first Internet-based press release distribution company, now owned by the West Corp. division of Apollo Global Management and his first PR firm, The Terpin Group, now part of FTI Consulting. He is on the board of Syracuse University’s prestigious Newhouse School of Communications, and he is a popular speaker on global blockchain circuit.
For a copy of the original complaint and corresponding exhibits, please visit the following links:
- Token Taxonomy Workshop – - January 24, 2020
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- DC Blockchain Advocacy Group US Chamber of Digital Commerce Supports Telegram Vs. SEC Case - January 22, 2020
- BIS Forms New Central Bank Think Tank to Assess National Cryptocurrencies - January 22, 2020
- Bank of England Pondering National Cryptocurrency - January 22, 2020
- Infamous Online Gaming Community Clanbase to Relaunch With Blockchain Technology in 2021 - January 21, 2020
- Chainalysis: 2019 Saw More Cryptocurrency Hacks – Total Amount Stolen From Exchanges Dropped To $283 Million - January 21, 2020
- J. Christopher Giancarlo, former Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission - January 21, 2020
- Ethereum Classic Labs Donates $1 Million to UNICEF Innovation Ventures - January 20, 2020
- Busted: SEC and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey Files Lawsuits Against Fraudulent ICO that raised $30 million - January 17, 2020
- Kenya Issues Second ICO Warning After Investors Lose €24+ Million Euro - January 17, 2020
- Neufund Wraps Tokenised Equity Crowdfunding Series B with Greyp Bikes raising €1.4m EUR - January 17, 2020
- U.S. Lawmakers Pondering “Crypto-Currency Act of 2020” - January 17, 2020
- New Blockchain-based Visa Token Service Set To Launch in 2020 – Set to Reach $1 Trillion - January 17, 2020
- Germany’s New Shore Invest Launches STO Ship Financing Platform – Tokenised Fractional Ownership - January 16, 2020
- Open Source Luminary Marc Fleury Enters Crypto Arena with Announcement of New Crypto Asset Class and Continuous Token Offering Sale - January 16, 2020
- UN Warns Public Not To Attend North Korea Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference 2020 - January 16, 2020
- Fiat-to-Crypto Gateway Solution, Banxa, Raises $2 Million USD Series A Round Led By NGC Ventures - January 15, 2020
- United Africa Blockchain Association Plans to Fire Up Blockchain Adoption - January 14, 2020
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