AT&T faces $224 million lawsuit over cryptocurrency theft

A cryptocurrency investor claims the company’s negligence enabled the theft.

Cryptocurrency investor Michael Terpin has filed a lawsuit against AT&T, claiming that the company's negligence led him to be robbed of nearly $24 million worth of cryptocurrency. Terpin alleges that in January, while AT&T was his service provider, three million tokens were taken from him through a "digital identity theft" of his cellphone account, according to Reuters. In the 69-page complaint filed with the US District Court in Los Angeles, Terpin says, "AT&T's willing cooperation with the hacker, gross negligence, violation of its statutory duties and failure to adhere to its commitments in its privacy policy," enabled the theft.

Terpin claims that a hacker was able to get ahold of his phone number, through which they were then able to access his cryptocurrency accounts. As CNBC reports, the complaint alleged, "What AT&T did was like a hotel giving a thief with a fake ID a room key and a key to the room safe to steal jewelry in the safe from the rightful owner."

"We dispute these allegations and look forward to presenting our case in court," an AT&T spokesperson told Reuters.

Terpin is seeking $24 million in compensatory damages as well as $200 million in punitive damages.