An 18-year-old suburban New York high school senior is being sued for allegedly being the mastermind and ringleader of a cybercrime scheme that defrauded a cryptocurrency investor out of millions of dollars in digital currencies. 

Michael Terpin, a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrency, is accusing Ellis Pinsky, of Irvington, New York, and 20 of his alleged co-conspirators of stealing $23.8 million of cryptocurrency in January 2018.

Pinsky was just 15 and in 10th grade at the time of the alleged crime. Terpin is seeking triple the amount lost in damages, to the tune of $71.4 million.

‘On the surface, Pinsky is an “All American Boy,” Terpin said in a complaint filed in federal court in White Plains, New York, but claims in reality he is ‘an evil computer genius. The tables are now turned.’  

In his complaint, Terpin said Pinsky from Westchester county and his ‘gang of digital bandits’ would steal from victims after gaining control of their smartphones through ‘SIM swaps,’ and that Pinsky bragged to friends that he would never get caught.

He is alleged to have written to an acquaintance, ‘I could buy you and all your family. I have 100 million dollars.’  The complaint also alleges that an accomplice saw, in December 2017, ‘records indicating that Ellis had $70 million.’ 

The case against Pinsky alleges he was able to hack Terpin’s BlackBerry phone and access his ‘digital vault’ which stored the $23.8 million. 

Terpin then alleges that within forty-eight hours, Pinsky had managed to launder the virtual cash. 

‘In his early teens, Pinsky began hacking computers with the mission of accessing his victims’ private accounts where they store their cryptocurrency holdings or private information,’ the complaint reads.

According to the New York Post friends believed Pinsky to have made his money though more pedestrian means. 

‘His best friend thought he was making money through trading Bitcoin and stock,’ an ­insider said.

Pinsky is alleged to have used a portion of the money to maintain a lavish lifestyle, all while living at home with his parents who are believed to thought he made his Bitcoin money winning on video games.   

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