Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C. is a Chicago-based securities, investor protection, and consumer rights law firm that offers victims representation on a contingency fee basis nationwide. Our lawyers have grown accustomed to suing telecom carriers like AT&T and Sprint in arbitration for hacking victims. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile customers fall victim all too often to SIM-Swapping or SIM-porting scams where crooks gain access to their cell phone numbers and from there, can execute any number of plays to gain further access to these victims’ banks accounts. The most common type of account that gets hacked in these situations based on our lawyers’ experiences – by far – are Coinbase accounts where these crooks transfer Bitcoin or other crypto assets to third party accounts. When these investors complain to Coinbase that their accounts were robbed, Coinbase typically goes palms-up and says, too bad, so sad, and victims are left stunned that unauthorized access to their accounts, including transfers to unauthorized third parties, was allowed.
Coinbase is lightly regulated to say the least. But, it is a money services business and is registered with FinCen (the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Crime Enforcement Network). On its website, Coinbase admits that it is required to comply with any number of laws and regulations, including on a state by state basis in which they operated, along with the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, and the U.S. Patriot Act. Coinbase is not a bank or brokerage firm so although it is regulated, as far as financial services are concerned in the United States, entities like Coinbase are on the fringe of regulation. Crypto is already the wild-wild west of the quasi-securities world and Coinbase is a primary facilitator of that market. Still, Coinbase must follow certain regulations, including what are generally known as the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) Rule and anti-money laundering (AML) rules and regulations. At the state level, in Illinois for example, Coinbase is licensed as a Money Transmitter through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Like our cases against AT&T and Sprint for losses in connection with SIM Swap scams, claims against Coinbase have to be brought through the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Consumer Rules process. First though, customers have to comply with a specific pre-dispute complaint process or risk having their case thrown out of arbitration for failing to comply with these policies. If you had more than $50,000 stolen from you as a result of your Coinbase account being hacked or accessed, you should call Stoltmann Law Offices, P.C. at 312-332-4200 for a no-obligation, initial consultation with an experienced arbitration attorney. We are a contingency fee law firm which means we do not get paid unless you do.