Florida teen gets prison time for massive celebrity Twitter hack
Graham Ivan Clark, 18, pleaded guilty to 30 counts of communications fraud and other state crimes for breaking into the social media platform to carry out a cryptocurrency scam, Florida prosecutors said.
Prosecutors say Clark raked in more than $117,000 in bitcoin after taking over the Twitter accounts of several high-profile figures, including Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Kanye West and Elon Musk. He posted tweets that directed victims of the scheme to send the cryptocurrency to a digital account.
Clark’s defense attorney, David Weisbrod, said the teen hacker had turned over all the bitcoin he bilked, according to the Tampa Bay Times. Authorities expect to return the money to its rightful owners.
Under his plea deal, Clark will spend three years in a juvenile detention facility — including the seven and a half months he’s already been locked up — and another three years on probation, according to Warren’s office.
That’s the maximum sentence he’s allowed as a youthful offender, a status that will also provide him education and transition services to get his life back on track once he’s out of prison, officials said.
But Clark will face another 10 years of prison time in an adult lockup if he violates his probation, prosecutors said.
Two other men — Mason Sheppard of the UK and Nima Fazeli of Florida — have been separately charged in federal court for their roles in the scheme, which Twitter called a “coordinated social engineering attack” that targeted company employees with access to internal tools.
Source: New York Post