A teenager who’s responsible for taking over many high-profile Twitter accounts, as part of a huge Bitcoin scam last year, has now agreed to serve 3 years in prison in a plea deal.
Graham Clark, 18, has confirmed that he’ll be pleading guilty to State fraud charges for using the hacked social media accounts of prominent people in order to solicit over $100,000 in Bitcoin during the summer months of 2020.
Clark says he has agreed to spend 3 years behind bars, which will be followed by another 3 years of probation, The Tampa Bay Times confirmed on Monday (March 15, 2021).
As part of the plea deal, Clark will receive a more lenient “youthful offender” sentence. While he will not be permitted to use computers without the supervision of law enforcement, he could be eligible or qualify to serve part of his sentence at a military-style boot camp.
In July of last year, there were several high-profile Twitter accounts — including those belonging to tech giant Apple, billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, and US President Joe Biden — that had been sharing messages requesting that Bitcoin be sent to a certain crypto address. As usual, the hacker had promised that the users would receive twice the amount back (which never happened of course).
Police officials have now taken Clark into custody on accusations that he allegedly hacked the social media accounts to orchestrate the Bitcoin scam. At the time when the fraudulent scheme was carried out, Clark was only 17 years of age. Two other people, Nima Fazeli of Orlando and Mason Sheppard, have been charged with federal crimes that are also related to the crypto scam.
In order to break into these accounts, Clark had used various social engineering tactics in order to convince Twitter workers to give him administrative access to tools that were used to reset email addresses linked to high-profile or widely-followed Twitter accounts.
Case prosecutors had charged Clark in State court because state law is more flexible when it comes to charging minors as adults for serious offenses, The Tampa Bay Times confirmed.