A New York man alleged to have been part of a cybercrime group that targeted digital currency owners has been sentenced to one and a half years in prison. Nicholas Truglia was convicted of laundering $24 million stolen from a New York blockchain consultant.
Truglia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2021 in a New York court, and last week, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein handed him 18 months in prison.
Truglia led a lonely life during the day, playing video games in his luxury Manhattan apartment, according to court documents. At night, he spent most of his days in nightclubs, telling anyone who cared to listen about how much money he had. As it turns out, most of this money came from scamming digital asset investors.
During the sentencing, prosecutors revealed that Truglia owned $53 million in assets, including digital currencies, jewelry, and art. He agreed to pay over $20 million in restitution.
While he has targeted several digital currency executives in the past five years through SIM swap hacks, Truglia was sentenced for his role in a 2018 hack targeting Michael Terpin, a New York blockchain consultant who is the founder of Transform Group.
According to court filings, Truglia wasn’t involved in the SIM swap hack himself. Rather, he was hired by the hackers to convert the stolen tokens they stole from Terpin, known as Triggers, to BTC.
Truglia’s defense attorney Jeffrey Udell argued in court that the judge should be lenient on his client as he had been diagnosed with autism. This made it harder for him to distinguish between the real and virtual worlds.
“He couldn’t apprehend what he was doing online with these people was having real-world effects on people like Mr. Terpin,” the attorney argued.
However, Judge Hellerstein was unmoved, handing an 18-month prison sentence to the 25-year-old New Yorker who has already served 12 months of this term.
While this is his first criminal case against him, Truglia has faced several civil actions for his SIM swap hack involvements. In one filed in California in 2019, he was ordered to pay his victim $75 million as compensatory and punitive damages.
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