Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Evil teengage genius

If times were normal, Ellis Pinksy would likely be looking forward to graduating from Irivington (NY) High. By now, he would likely have made his decision on where to go to college. He probably wasn't aiming for Ivies or equivalent. Sure, he was plenty smart, but what's plenty smart these days? Sure, he took at bunch of AP courses, but he was only in the third echelon of AP achievers at this high school. Yes, he ran track, but running track is no big deal.

Not Ivy material, but hardly local community college or University of Phoenix material, either.

In any case, I'm guessing he received a number of acceptances from some decent enough schools. And Irvington's a pretty affluent little town in Westchester. Thus, Ellis probably didn't have to look at what the colleges were offering in terms of a package. He's probably one of those  lucky kids who can afford to go wherever they get into. Especially given that he's had a lucrative sideline throughout his high school career. 

So in normal times, Ellis Pinsky (or his mom) would be renting his cap and gown, and Ellis would be starting to wear the sweatshirt from the college he'd be heading to this fall - at least in the privacy of his bedroom. Wearing it in public might be not too cool for school.

But these aren't normal times.

High school graduations are virtual. Colleges haven't figured out yet whether they'll be anything other than a virtual fall semester. And Ellis, well, although the court systems are running far behind, and trials and appeals always take time, it's at least conceivable that he'll be in jail by the time fall semester rolls around anyway. Or if not, the college he'd decided to attend may have rescinded their acceptance letter. After all, most have some sort of morals disclaimer in there...

Of course, there is innocent until proven guilty, so we have to take that into consideration. Plus the alleged crime occurred when Ellis was a minor. Still, plenty of reason to believe that no college in its right mind would want Ellis Pinsky as a big man on their campus. Or even a little one.

There's also the possibility that Ellis, like so many brightish young things who've figured the game out early, might have decided to put aside the idea of college altogether. (C.f., "influencers.") Who needs college when you've already got hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank. Or, at any rate, stashed under your bed.

Here's what Ellis Pinsky, Irivington (NY) High Class of '20, has supposedly been up to. 
Michael Terpin [adviser to blockchain companies] claims his phone was hacked and his money stolen in 2018 by a ring led by Westchester County, New York, teen Ellis Pinksy as part of a “sophisticated cybercrime spree.” Terpin, the founder and chief executive officer of blockchain advisory firm Transform Group, is suing Pinsky, now 18, for $71 million under a federal racketeering law that allows for triple damages.
“Pinsky and his other cohorts are in fact evil computer geniuses with sociopathic traits who heartlessly ruin their innocent victims’ lives and gleefully boast of their multi-million-dollar heists,” Terpin said in his complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Manhattan. (Source: Bloomberg)
Pinsky allegedly began his short but sweet life of crime when he was just 13 years old, and in a mere couple of years he bragged to his buds that he'd manage to rip off $100M worth of bitcoins. 

Terpin has stated that, when he confronted Pinsky:
...the teenager sent him cryptocurrency, cash and a watch with a combined value $2 million. He claims this was an admission by Pinsky that he had stolen from Terpin.
It does sound like a bit of a guilty plea, but who knows.

My guess is the defense will be Pinsky's time-of-crime age, and the fact that his partners-in-crime were a couple of years older. Pinsky just a poor little lamb who has gone astray. Sniff, sniff.

No surprise that the cryptocurrency/bitcoin biz is subject to thefts like this. It's a lot easier for a bright but morally-challenged 13 year old who wants to show the world how smart he to find his way into hacking, in a way that he wouldn't have found his way into, say, a branch bank with a replica pistol and done a stickup - only to have had the inkbag explode on him. ('But, mom," tearful teen when confronted, "I don't know how it happened. I just found this bag in the bushes and when I opened it, I got this pink stuff all over me.")

Oh, Ellis Pinsky probably won't end up doing any time. But there'll be payback. At least some payback of as much of the virtual money he stole that they can recover. And likely a college acceptance rescind. I'd like to think so, anyway.

Some school will let him in. And I do believe in remorse, forgiveness. I just wouldn't want any kid I know and love to end up rooming with this little d.b. Sorry, alleged d.b.

In any case, I bet he's the talk of the Irivington (NY) High School Class of '20 Zoomers...

Ave atque vale!

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