AT&T Files for Dismissal in $24M Phone Hack Case, Claims Crypto Exec Didn't Read Terms

Terpin claims he lost $24 million in crypto due to AT&T's negligence. The firm says he didn't read the company's policy documents.

AccessTimeIconApr 1, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:24 a.m. UTC

U.S. mobile operator AT&T hopes to dismiss crypto investor Mike Terpin's amended case over a SIM-swap hack, claiming he had not read the firm's terms and conditions.

AT&T's attorneys took issue with three parts of the second amended complaint and his request for millions in punitive damages, arguing they showed the plaintiff was himself mostly responsible for the SIM-swap scam – a type of phone hack involving stealing someone's mobile identity.

Filed at the federal court in the Central District of California earlier this week, AT&T's motion to dismiss asks the presiding judge dismisses Terpin's concealment and misrepresentation claims, as well as his request for punitive damages, with prejudice. If granted, it would mean Terpin could not bring the matter before the court again.

Terpin first accused AT&T of civil negligence in August 2018, alleging an employee had been bribed by a criminal gang to pass over control of his SIM card. Terpin claimed the mobile giant knew he was at risk of falling victim to a SIM-swap hack but did nothing to warn him or prevent an attack from taking place. He is suing AT&T for $23.8 million in compensation, as well as $200 million in punitive damages.

But AT&T argues in this week's filing that Terpin has not been able to show how the company concealed alleged flaws in its data security system or how he was misled. He has already admitted that he had not actually read the privacy policy and code of business conduct documents that he claimed had misled him.

"Mr. Terpin all but admits that he cannot base a misrepresentation claim on written documents by AT&T, which he does not allege that he even saw or read, much less relied upon," reads the filing. "He has all but conceded that his 11 misrepresentation claim should be dismissed with prejudice."

A judge denied A&T's previous dismissal motion in February, giving Terpin 21 days to submit an amended complaint that addressed some of its deficiencies.

Last December, in a separate case, AT&T filed a motion for dismissal against another crypto executive who had fallen victim to a similar phone hack, claiming the case had "critical holes."


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